There has been a change of heart regarding Pernell McPhee’s future with the Chicago Bears:
I am told #Bears are taking Pernell McPhee OFF of the physically unable to perform list and he will be on the 53-man roster to open season.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) September 2, 2017
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports the Bears will remove outside linebacker Pernell McPhee from the physically unable to perform list and will place him on the season-opening 53-man roster. The news comes as a surprise after Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported McPhee was going to start the season on the physically unable to perform list … again. It would have been a disappointing conclusion to a disappointing summer for McPhee, who has missed nine games in his first two seasons with the Bears.
Had McPhee started the 2017 season on the PUP list, that number would have been bumped to 15.
Landing on the PUP list would have been more discouraging news for McPhee, who missed the entire exhibition season after being placed on the preseason PUP list hours after head coach John Fox and GM Ryan Pace raved about starting training camp with a clean injury slate. McPhee underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to clean it out, a procedure Fox attempted to downplay.
Earlier in the offseason, McPhee reportedly looked to be in good shape, adding he felt sexier after shedding some pounds in an attempt to ease pressure off his knees. McPhee also talked a big game, hyping he and his fellow outside linebackers as potential dominant game-changing edge rushers. Only time will tell if that comes to fruition, but if it does, it will be despite McPhee’s absence in the first half of the season.
McPhee, who was Pace’s first major free agent signing, was stellar in his first season with the Bears. He grabbed six sacks in 14 games and posted an impressive 86.7 grade from Pro Football Focus back in 2015. But a different knee injury caused him to start the 2016 season on the PUP list, limiting him to just nine games in 2016.
Entering the third year of a five-year deal that had a total value of $38.75 million, McPhee’s future could be up in the air depending on how he recovers from injury. As it stands, his stint with the Bears has been nothing short of a disappointment because of injuries.