The Chicago Bears have been using Cordarrelle Patterson as a back up running back. Should they find more of a true running back?
No one is trying to replace David Montgomery. However, it is fair to question whether or not there is adequate depth should be he go down. When he missed a game against the Minnesota Vikings, Cordarelle Patterson saw just 12 carries for 30 yards, while Artavis Pierce, a rookie UDFA saw three carries. The Chicago Bears also have Ryan Nall on the roster, but none of the three can be looked at as the realistic backup on the roster.
Patterson obviously wears the number 84 because he has been a wide receiver until this past season. That showed us he was always kicking runs outside, and failing to read inside blocks. It is fair to say that Patterson can get better with more carries between the tackles. It is just as fair to say that Patterson is a gadget player who should not be looked at as a backup running back.
Beyond the one game in which Montgomery is missed is a question of workload. Even with the game missed Montgomery was number four in carries last year. That is with fans wishing he got more carries. We have seen running backs like David Johnson, Todd Gurley, and Le’Veon Bell get heavy use in their first four NFL seasons and fall off soon after. The Bears may be playing that way with Montgomery.
Moving on to next year, the Bears may be looking to establish the run more, if they feel they fixed their interior. That may mean more Montgomery, and Tarik Cohen will be back as a speed compliment.
However, beyond Cohen, and Patterson, they need a true backup to Montgomery. Someone who can take off the power running between the tackles for a few carries per game. Beyond that, they need a back who can step up if Montgomery gets injured, so that Cohen and Patterson can stay in their roles as compliments, rather than replacements.