All things considered, it could have been worse. But Detroit Lions running back David Montgomery "only" suffered a rib injury on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and according to head coach Dan Campbell on Monday it's "only" a cartilage issue. Initial x-rays were negative, so that ruled out broken or cracked ribs.
Still, Montgomery is set to miss some time, and depending on how this week goes Campbell would not rule out placing him on IR.
“I have no idea,” Campbell said. “I really don’t at this point. We’ll see what he feels like tomorrow. See what he feels like Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. We’ll kinda see where we’re at.”
Montgomery will certainly miss Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens, and probably Week 8 against the Las Vegas Raiders. A Week 9 bye might be helpful to not placing him on IR, but as Campbell noted that can't be known right now.
Campbell has started the new week optimistic Jahmyr Gibbs will return against the Ravens after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury. But Zonovan Knight is on IR after suffering a left shoulder injury in Week 5, and he's likely done for the season. So even if Gibbs is able to play this week, it's him, Craig Reynolds and Devine Ozigbo as the Lions' top three backs for however long Montgomery is out.
Nothing against Reynolds or Ozigbo, but adding another body at running back may be on the Lions' radar in short order this week. It's the nature of the position as much as anything. to keep fortifying depth and keeping the pipeline of possible options full.
With that in mind, here are some free agent running backs who could be on the Lions' radar to sign in order to fill a short-term depth void left by Montgomery's absence.