Before acquiring DeVante Parker via trade from Miami, the New England Patriots had added just one outside player over the course of the offseason to bolster their offensive skill position group: free agent running back/wide receiver Ty Montgomery was signed to a two-year, $3.6 million contract that does not guarantee him a spot on the roster.
However, it does give Montgomery an opportunity to carve out a role as a versatile and experienced member of New England’s offense capable of bolstering the depth at two different positions. That said, he does not come without his questions, and his injury history is one of them.
2012 (Stanford): Coming off a solid freshman campaign at Stanford, Montgomery was dealing with a hand injury that forced him to miss parts of the school’s spring practices.
During the season, he suffered a knee injury in a win versus Arizona. The ailment kept him out for the next three games as well.
In his second game back from the knee ailment, Montgomery suffered a bruise. He did not miss any significant time because of the issue, however.
2013 (Stanford): During practices leading up to his junior campaign with the Cardinal, Montgomery was held out of one session after previously landing awkwardly. He did not miss any game time, but had to undergo shoulder surgery after the season. Whether or not there is a relation between the two is not known, however.
Montgomery proved himself a consistent playmaker in 2013, but he was unable to finish the biggest game of the season. A knee injury forced him to exit the Rose Bowl versus Michigan State in the early fourth quarter; Stanford ended up losing 24-20.
2014 (Stanford): A shoulder sprain suffered in late November versus Cal kept Montgomery out of two games. He was not able to dress versus UCLA and Maryland and therefore ended his college career on the sidelines.
2015 (Packers): Montgomery’s first training camp saw him suffer an undisclosed injury during an August training camp session. He later dealt with some hamstring tightness and was declared inactive for the preseason finale versus New Orleans.
In Week 6 versus the San Diego Chargers, Montgomery’s left ankle bent awkwardly and he had to be carted off the field. He was later placed on season-ending injured reserve because of the issue.
2016 (Packers): Coming off his season-ending ankle injury, Montgomery started the Packers’ 2016 training camp on the physically unable to perform list. He was later activated again, but was not given a 100 percent workload after his return.
During the regular season, a kidney-related ailment kept Montgomery out of Green Bay’s late-October game in Atlanta. He was held out for precautionary reasons, but one week later was cleared to take the field again.
In December, Montgomery hurt his shoulder in a game versus the Seattle Seahawks. He tested the shoulder on the sideline, and later was limited in practice due to the issue.
The regular season finale versus Detroit saw Montgomery suffer an apparent right ankle injury. However, no official status was announced and he was back in action the following week.
That very next game again saw him go down. Montgomery suffered a leg injury versus the New York Giants in the wild card playoff round, and had to be helped off the field. He missed several plays but returned late in the fourth quarter. He was not listed on the injury report the following week.
2017 (Packers): According to himself, Montgomery suffered a wrist injury versus Cincinnati in Week 3. He played through it, but the issue did not get better and required surgery in early December.
At that point, he was already on injured reserve. Montgomery had cracked some ribs five snaps into a late-September game versus the Chicago Bears, and was forced to sit out the following contest in Dallas. He did return a week later, but re-aggravated the issue in mid-November. The Packers subsequently sent him to injured reserve because of his ribs and wrist, ending his season.
2018 (Packers/Ravens): Montgomery suffered a foot injury in the first quarter of Green Bay’s exhibition game versus Oakland, and sat out the preseason finale a week later. However, he went through 2018 without any additional reported or announced injuries.
2019 (Jets): Montgomery’s first training camp as a member of the New York Jets saw him get hurt two separate times. In early August he injured his ankle, but was back the next day.
Later that same month, he limped off the field due to a potential groin injury. Montgomery played a limited role in the season opener, but it appears that the issue was not the reason for that.
In November versus Miami, he hurt his right knee but walked off under his own power. He ended up playing just two snaps that day, which was a season low but not significantly below his usual workload as a Jet.
Foot and hip issues forced Montgomery to head into a mid-December game versus Baltimore carrying the “questionable” tag. However, he was active and played a combined 20 snaps on offense and special teams.
2020 (Saints): Montgomery had an injury scare in the New Orleans Saints’ 2020 season opener versus Tampa Bay, staying down after a kickoff return. He left the field under his own power during the injury timeout and eventually returned to the contest.
Later that month, Montgomery suffered a hamstring injury in practice. The issue forced him to spend six weeks on injured reserve and miss additional time as well; in fact, he was bothered by the ailment for much of the season.
2021 (Saints): Montgomery’s second season with the Saints also saw him struggle with injuries. In mid-August, he was carted off at practice but returned the next day; he did miss the preseason finale, however.
In November, a hamstring ailment forced him to miss one game. He returned the following week versus the Tennessee Titans, but left just six snaps into that contest.
Montgomery had hurt his finger — an apparent left pinky dislocation — but was back on the field after a one-week absence.
In December, he tested positive for Covid-19. Montgomery spent a week on the league’s reserve list.
The following month, Montgomery struggled with back issues. He missed two practices due to a back injury and was questionable in Week 17 versus Carolina, playing just eight offensive snaps. His back also was an area of concern the following week in Atlanta, when he landed hard on an incomplete pass in the end zone.
What it means for the Patriots
Montgomery suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises during his time in college and the NFL, missing considerable time in three of his seven seasons as a pro. That said, there are no obvious medical red flags: his season-ending ankle and rib/wrist injuries were more freak accidents more than anything, while his hamstring issues are also not overly concerning.
Nonetheless, New England signed him to a low-risk contract. His two-year deal includes only $300,000 worth of guarantees, and is filled with play-time incentives and active roster bonuses: if he can stay healthy in both 2022 and 2023 and become a regular contributor, Montgomery will earn more than the deal’s base value of $3.6 million.