Three important defensive starters did not practice and landed on the first injury report of Week 14.
Nose tackle Eddie Goldman (hip), outside linebacker Pernell McPhee (shoulder), and safety Adrian Amos (hamstring) sat out Wednesday’s practice.
McPhee played just seven snaps before suffering a shoulder injury early in the team’s Week 13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The Bears’ defense missed McPhee’s presence as a pass rusher as the team struggled to put pressure on Jimmy Garoppolo on passing downs. Goldman played on 56 percent of the defense’s snaps, which is his lowest total since playing 58 percent of the time in Week 3. He hasn’t missed a game this season and has played on 65 percent of the defense’s plays. Amos enters his second week on the injury report with a hamstring injury originally suffered in Week 12.
The three Bears who were listed as DNP play positions where the team is starting to wear thin. Chicago’s defensive line was dealt some bad news with Mitch Unrein going on injured reserve, so losing Goldman would be critical to that unit moving forward. Rookie Eddie Jackson was the only healthy safety to play on Sunday who had been on the active roster all season. The list of injured outside linebacker/edge defender types is a painful one to re-visit, but at least LaMarr Houston was able to play 68 snaps in his return to the Bears.
Help could be on the way, though.
Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald tweets cornerback Bryce Callahan and safety Deon Bush were full participation. Callahan hasn’t played since Week 8 and has been sidelined with a knee injury since that game. Bush (ankle) hasn’t been much of a factor on defense, playing more special teams snaps (130) than defensive (21) this season. However, injuries could force the 2016 fourth-round pick into a bigger role.
After placing Unrein and Kyle Long on injured reserve, the Bears have 14 players currently on injured reserve.