The New England Patriots’ running back depth chart is facing some questions heading into Week 6, and it appears that veteran Ty Montgomery will not be part of the answer. While the veteran is now eligible to return off injured reserve, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is not expecting him back this week.
“I do not expect him to return to practice this week,” Belichick told reporters on a media conference call on Monday morning.
Montgomery opened the season as one part of the Patriots’ three-player running back rotation alongside Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. The free agency acquisition touched the football five times in the season opener in Miami, including on a 6-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Mac Jones.
However, Montgomery was placed on injured reserve two days after the contest. While no reason for the move has been reported, he had been listed as questionable with a knee injury heading into the regular season.
As a result of his trip to injured reserve, Montgomery was forced to sit out four games before being eligible to return to the 53-man roster. Those four contests are now in the rear-view mirror, but a return does not appear to be imminent.
With Montgomery out, the Patriots relied on Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson to shoulder the load at running back; rookie Pierre Strong Jr. saw only marginal action, with J.J. Taylor and Kevin Harris on the practice squad. Harris and Stevenson performed well, but the former left the win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday with a hamstring injury.
With his status heading toward the upcoming game against the Cleveland Browns uncertain, getting Montgomery back would have been an encouraging development. However, it appears the 29-year-old needs more time to return into the fold.