The Bears Should Be Careful With Shea McClellin

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Shea McClellin's concussion might not mean as much to the Bears immediately as Jay Cutler's concussion does, but for the first-round pick's future, the Bears should be careful with him.

The Bears will be without Jay Cutler for Monday's game against the Niners, but they could also be without Shea McClellin for an even longer period of time. McClellin left the game against the Texans on the first play, and was immediately called out of the game with a concussion. Zach Zaidman told the Boers and Bernstein Show on Friday afternoon that McClellin's symptoms were noticed instantly, whereas Cutler's took a while to manifest themselves.

Now, the loss of a rotational defensive end isn't the end of the world on a team that's stocked up pretty well with defensive linemen playing at a high level (including Corey Wootton, who some here had written off completely in the offseason). But McClellin's loss still hurts for a couple other reasons - first, he had provided some pretty good pass rush when he's been in, a dimension that the team will miss while he's out, so his impact will be noted mostly as one less body to rotate in, provide a breather, and a reduction in overall speed on the line.

Secondly though, and probably more important, they're important developmental reps for a player that was going to take some time to develop fully anyway. The Bears have high hopes for McClellin, both as a player now (providing speed rush on third downs) and in the future (an eventual primary pass rusher, if he develops counter moves and some more strength).

Add in that this isn't his first career concussion (recall the ones he's had throughout his collegiate career) and this is a pretty rough stumbling block in McClellin's development.

He might be back for Minnesota, but don't be surprised if he's out for another week after this one.

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