It was feared at one point that Nick Kwiatkoski’s pectoral injury would end his season, but that doesn’t seem to be the case now.
A torn pectoral muscle sent starting inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman to injured reserve, but Head Coach John Fox says Kwiatkoski’s pectoral injury isn’t as serious and will not result in a trip to IR at this time. Oh, nice.
Kwiatkoski is still out for Sunday’s game (eh, less nice), but the big picture news turns out to be the best case scenario for the second-year linebacker who made four tackles on the Bears’ first defensive possession against the Buccaneers in Week 2. Christian Jones played a bulk of the snaps replacing Kwiatkoski, while Jonathan Anderson – who was called up from the practice squad to take Freeman’s roster spot – did not play a single snap in Week 2.
In more good news, three potential starters were left off the injury report altogether. Left guard Kyle Long, wide receiver Markus Wheaton, and cornerback Prince Amukamara didn’t appear on the injury report for the first time this year, according to Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Each is expected to make their season debuts on Sunday against the Steelers. And in the case of Wheaton and Amukamara, they will be making their Bears debuts. Wheaton and Long missed the entire preseason, while Amukamara hasn’t played since injuring his ankle in the third preseason game against the Titans.
Despite Long’s expected return, the offensive line looks like it could be in some trouble. The Chicago Tribune’s Dan Wiederer reports left guard Tom Compton (hip) was listed as questionable and right guard Josh Sitton (rib) was doubtful. Losing both would be a tough blow against a Pittsburgh team that has stifled opposing offenses through two weeks.
The Bears will get some help on the both sides of the ball with receiver Kendall Wright, tight end Zach Miller, and defensive end Akiem Hicks being full participants in practice on Friday, according to Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald.