Through three games, Ty Montgomery, above, has played 205 of the Packers’ 228 offensive snaps (89.9 percent). Unfortunately for the Packers starting running back – not only running back, although it might seem that way – the heavy workload hasn’t translated to significant production. Although he has scored a team-high three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving), his 59 touches haven’t led to as many explosive plays as he and the Packers envisioned for the ex-wide receiver.
Entering Thursday night, Montgomery has carried 41 times for 124 yards (a 3.0-yard average), and his longest carry went for 8 yards. He’s also caught 18 passes for 129 yards (7.2-yard average) with most of his receptions coming on checkdowns or screen/swing passes.
Montgomery’s productivity has been part of the collateral damage of the Packers’ offensive line issues, as the tackle injuries haven’t just impacted the pass protection. For his part, though, Montgomery isn’t panicking – and isn’t complaining about not getting much help from his rookie backups so far.
“I prepared myself for this kind of workload,” Montgomery said. “If I wasn’t getting this many reps, I’d be OK with that. But as long as I’m bringing value, I am being efficient and making plays, scoring touchdowns, explosive gains, breaking tackles, yards after contact, things I like doing, that’s fine.
“It’s been three games. We’ve had a lot of injuries to the O-line, had a lot of young guys on the O-line, playing positions on the O-line that they’re not used to playing, a lot of moving parts. We’ve been down in the last two games and that didn’t put us in running situations so we weren’t really able to get a rhythm … there’s so many factors that go into it. I’m not trying to get caught up in the numbers right now. I’m just glad we’re 2-1.”
Still, both Montgomery and quarterback Aaron Rodgers know at some point the running game will have to get going.
“Of course we need (it) to,” Rodgers said. “We need to have some balance. But our best personnel right now is getting as many receivers on the field as we can and getting them the ball in space.”
Jason Wilde covers the Packers for ESPN Wisconsin. Listen to him with former Packers and Badgers offensive lineman Mark Tauscher weekdays from 9-11 on “Wilde & Tausch” on 100.5 FM ESPN Madison.