Artavis Pierce is set to step up for the Bears.
During Wednesday’s practice for the Chicago Bears, David Montgomery — the second-year running back from Iowa State — suffered groin injury. Montgomery is expected to miss up to 4 weeks for the Bears, which could lead to him missing regular-season games. One player considered to pick up his role is undrafted running back Artavis Pierce.
Montgomery was likely to be Chicago’s running back on early downs with Tarik Cohen coming on in passing situations. With the loss of Montgomery, the Bears will have to look deeper into their depth chart to find that guy. After Cohen and Mongomery, the Bears’ options are Corrdelle Patterson who is a former wide receiver, and two former players for the Oregon State Beavers, Ryan Nall, and Pierce.
What Artavis Pierce bring to the Bears
Patterson, like Cohen, is more of a pass-catcher, than your traditional running back who plays on early downs. Nall, on the other hand, is much more of a guy you want running between the tackles, but he’s been with the Bears 2018 and he only has two carries. Pierce is an undrafted free agent, but according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, “Pierce is the most traditional running back of the options behind Montgomery.”
For the Beavers, Pierce was able to conjure up some good production despite being forced to split carries with another talented back, Jermar Jefferson. In his final season for Oregon State, Pierce racked up 146 carries, 873 yards (6.0 yards-per-carry), and 6 touchdowns on the ground; he finished his career averaging 5.8 yards-per-carry.
How Pierce looks in training camp
Making the leap from undrafted rookie to the starting running back will be extremely tough for Pierce, especially without a preseason, but the evidence out of training camp says that he may have a decent shot at it.
The Bears season opener against the Detroit Lions is on September 9th, just over two weeks and Montgomery’s return timeline is anywhere from 2-4 weeks. Whether or not he is healthy is obviously the key to Pierce acquiring the job come game time, but if he keeps performing at training camp, he could also find himself sticking around for more than just one season.