The Chicago Bears are without their top two running backs for the foreseeable future.
After losing leading rusher David Montgomery for four to five weeks to a knee injury, the Bears announced Thursday that they've placed backup running back Damien Williams on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Montgomery went down with the knee injury late in Chicago's Week 4 win over the Detroit Lions. With Montgomery out of the lineup in last week's win over the Las Vegas Raiders, Williams notched 16 carries for 64 yards and a touchdown.
Through five games this season, Williams has rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries.
Williams is in his first season with the Bears after starting his career with the Miami Dolphins in 2014 and spending the last two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. Primarily playing as a backup and third-down back for the Chiefs, Williams rushed for career highs of 498 yards and five touchdowns in 2020.
With both Montgomery and Williams unavailable, the next man up for Chicago is rookie running back Khalil Herbert. A sixth-round pick in the 2021 draft, Herbert outpaced Williams in Week 5 against the Raiders with 18 rushes for 75 yards. It was Herbert's second appearance this season.
Chicago will face the division-rival Green Bay Packers this week with first place in the NFC North on the line. Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields has been dealing with a hyperextended knee suffered last week, but he said Wednesday he'll be ready to go by Sunday.
Beyond Montgomery and Williams, Fields is the only other player on the Bears roster to score a rushing touchdown this season. If Williams misses Sunday's game against the Packers, Fields figures to get more involved in the run game to alleviate Herbert's workload.