Sunderland striker Bent has been forced to pull out of Fabio Capello's squad after suffering a groin injury in training on Monday.
That means Peter Crouch is almost certain to start up front alongside Wayne Rooney in the crucial Group G clash at Wembley (kick-off 8pm).
Capello told a press conference televised by Sky Sports News: "Darren Bent is out - I think we will play Peter Crouch."
Central defenders John Terry (back) and Phil Jagielka (hamstring) have already withdrawn from the squad because of injury, although Ferdinand is back in the side - and will regain the captain's armband from Steven Gerrard.
Capello continued: "I spoke with Steven yesterday evening and explained why Rio will be captain against Montenegro. He understood everything - he knows the rules. I have also told the players that Rio would be captain.
"I decided when I started as England manager who will be the captain and the vice-captain. The players understand why Rio is the captain, and after him Steven Gerrard, and after Gerrard another one.
"When I spoke with Steven, I told him, 'you were a fantastic captain and you have to play like a captain tomorrow."'
Capello is confident Ferdinand's knee problems are behind him, adding: "I have monitored him - he is fit completely. Also I watched the game against Valencia. I think now he's 100% fit.
"There is no problem about Rio's injuries. He's really good when he plays.
"He's really important for the other players, he speaks a lot during the game. It's really important for me, I prefer this kind of player on the pitch."
The Italian did not feel the need to call up another central defender following Terry's withdrawal, adding: "I've worked with the back four and I have big confidence in these players. The ones who are here are good at the moment.
"Hopefully we will play in the same style as we did against Switzerland."