Injuries to important members of the Chicago Bears continue to pile up at the most inopportune times.
Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd went down with a knee injury in the fourth quarter of the team’s 27-24 loss to the Detroit Lions and did not return. Floyd was carted off the field and quickly ruled out. Head Coach John Fox told reporters after the game he expects the injury to be “fairly serious.” Fox usually plays coy regarding injury updates, but his blunt response when discussing Floyd’s injury suggests he knows Floyd won’t be returning to the lineup any time soon.
The Bears were already short-handed at the outside linebacker and edge rusher positions. Remember when those were perceived to be positions with depth and strength during training camp and the preseason? Since then, Chicago cut ties with Lamarr Houston in early September after suffering a knee injury in the preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns. The team would lose Willie Young to injured reserve in October because of a triceps injury.
Sam Acho and Pernell McPhee had been splitting time at outside linebacker in place of Young, but finding another body to fill another spot in the lineup will be tough at this stage of the season. As it stands, the Bears will start Week 12 with Acho, McPhee, and Isaiah Irving as the only healthy edge rushers on the team’s 53-man roster.
If you’ll recall, the team signed defensive end/outside linebacker Howard Jones to the practice squad in early October. Jones hasn’t played in a regular season NFL game since he suited up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 3, 2016. He played eight games that season after playing 12 as a rookie the previous season. Jones came up with five sacks, a fumble recovery, and a touchdown in 386 defensive snaps in 2015. If Floyd’s injury is as serious as Fox seems to believe it will be, Jones will most likely be called up from the practice squad sometime next week.
We’ll monitor Floyd’s situation and how the Bears will go about filling another spot in the starting lineup vacated due to injury. Here’s hoping it won’t keep Floyd off the playing field in 2018.