Chicago Bears Injury Report

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Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

As good as it felt to see the Chicago Bears win their first game of the 2015 season on Sunday, there was some bad news this morning. The Bears lost starting center Will Montgomery for the season with a broken fibula. Montgomery came over from the Broncos with John Fox to provide a stop-gap option at center until 3rd round pick Hroniss Grasu is ready to play.

Montgomery hasn’t been great, but he has been solid which is better than most of the Bears O-linemen can say. He’s been one of the Bears better run blockers, consistently opening holes for Matt Forte up the middle where the Bears have gained the majority of their rush yards. Montgomery struggled in pass pro early in the season giving up four QB hurries in week one, but only two since then over the next three games. He also only had one penalty in four games and for the most part has been a solid presence in the middle of the O-line.

Montgomery is out for the season now so the Bears will have to find a replacement. They have 3rd round pick Hroniss Grasu, who struggled in the preseason and has been inactive all four games this year. There are also some decent options on the waiver wire including former Bear center Roberto Garza. If the Bears think Garza is too old to handle the job, free agent options like Scott Wells, Samson Satele (who the Bears brought in for a preseason tryout), former Lions center Dominic Raiola, and former Bear swing-lineman Brian de la Puente are all available.

Of course, there is also starting LG Matt Slausen who moved over to center on Sunday when Montgomery got hurt. Slausen has very little experience at center and also had a bad shotgun snap and a botched handoff with Cutler in his three quarters at center. Moving Slausen to center also creates a hole at left guard which would be filled by Patrick Omameh who started 16 games for the Bucs last season and held his own Sunday with a -0.1 grade from Pro Football Focus.

If it were up to me I would give Grasu a shot to give him some valuable experience at center and hopefully speed up his development. The Bears aren’t winning the Super Bowl this year and the purpose of this season should be to develop young talent. Grasu will make some mistakes, but the sooner he gets comfortable with the speed and power of the NFL game, the sooner the Bears will have another young piece in place.