For the second time in as many years, Bears fans went on a journey obsessively following the free agent pursuit of running back Le’Veon Bell. And as was the case in 2019, we watched Bell choose a team that wasn’t Chicago.
But missing out on Miller isn’t the worst thing to happen. In fact, if the Bears are looking for a change-of-pace back with a Pro Bowl appearance on his résumé, then they should look no further than their practice squad.
The Bears signed Lamar Miller to their practice squad in early October, but he hasn’t appeared in a game yet. Moreover, Miller hasn’t played in a regular-season contest since 2018. That’s because Miller suffered an ACL injury in the 2019 preseason while with the Cowboys, which caused him to miss the season. Miller latched on with the Patriots briefly this summer, but didn’t make the season-opening roster.
But before you insert Miller into the lineup, just know that he is still working his way into the mix:
Matt Nagy says that Lamar Miller can be a valuable back for the #Bears. But they are taking it day-by-day and week-to-week with him.
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) October 15, 2020
With Lamar Miller getting acclimated on the Bears' practice squad, Matt Nagy said: "Right now, being able to see him get back to where he wants to be and where we want him to be is what's important. … He could be a valuable running back for us."
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) October 15, 2020
— Sean Hammond (@sean_hammond) October 15, 2020
Head Coach Matt Nagy seems to like what he has in Miller. And I imagine Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor and Running Backs Coach Charles London do, too. Lazor coached Miller when the two were in Miami, while London was Miller’s position coach in Houston. Those past relationships can prove to be valuable if Miller can re-capture the magic he had before suffering that knee injury last year.
So, yeah, I had that aw shucks feeling when when I saw the Bears fall out of the running. Bell would’ve been a nice complimentary fit between David Montgomery and Cordarrelle Patterson. But if all the Bears seek from a new running back is depth, versatility, and pass-catching ability, they might already have their backfield solution in house. However, he’ll need to be healthy enough to make the active roster before we fully jump to that conclusion.