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Chicago Bears 2020 Position Battles: The running back room seems set

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With the revelation that Cordarrelle Patterson has been working out with the running backs, I think we need to revisit parts of this one...

NFL: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

With the Chicago Bears placing rookie running back Artavis Pierce on Reserve/COVID-19 list, that only leaves four running backs on the current offseason roster. Pierce’s stay in quarantine may not be lengthy, but it still could hamper his chances to make the 53-man roster.

In 2019 the Bears opened the season with four tailbacks and in 2018 it was three plus a fullback, so it’ll be interesting to see how they construct things this year. The versatility from some of their players could play into whether they go with three or four at the position in 2020.

Either way, I think all the backs on the team have a good chance to stick around in some capacity this season, and earlier today general manager Ryan Pace said he likes the way his running back room is constructed right now.

Roster Locks

David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen have the RB1 and RB2 spots all locked up, but after that the Bears have some options. Also, how much the Bears decide to use Cohen at wide out could factor into if they need a fourth running back.

With the Bears finally electing to let Cordarrelle Patterson play running back, that solidifies this room. He’s not going to a huge increase in touches, but with him learning all the nuances of the position full time, he should be able to spell Montgomery from time to time and not tip the defense off to his usage.

A good bet to make it

With Pierce inactive for the time being that really gives Ryan Nall the inside track to keep his place on the depth chart. Playing 33% of last year’s special teams snaps also helps his chances to stick around. If the Bears carry end up carrying four at the position then Nall is a definite lock.

On the bubble

At some point Pierce should be back (EDIT: He’s back), and if it’s not too far out he’ll push Nall for a roster spot. He was a good receiver out of the backfield in college and should fit this offense. With Patterson moving to running back that probably leaves Pierce in line for a practice squad gig.

Fellow undrafted free agent rookie Napoleon Maxwell has a chance to make the practice squad, but don’t dismiss the Bears scouring the waiver wire to get a running back with some more experience at some point.

EDIT: The Bears have waived Maxwell while activating Pierce. (link)