The Bears have gotten off to a rough start for their 2016 season.
Setting aside their first preseason game, which told us virtually nothing about the longterm picture of what the Bears are going to be in 2016, the rest of the start of the season has raised plenty of issues for the team.
The Bears have been without several starters on each side of the ball for anywhere from a couple practices to all their practices. Pernell McPhee, Alshon Jeffery, Marquess Wilson, Zach Miller, Eddie Royal, Leonard Floyd, Hroniss Grasu and Kyle Fuller have all missed (or in Fuller’s case; will miss) time this preseason.
In the case of Wilson and McPhee they’ve missed all of it. Grasu will miss everything going forward because he’s already on Injured Reserve.
The season hasn’t even started in full and practices are not yet a month old and already the team has a significant list of walking wounded.
But when is the right time to really start becoming concerned with injuries?
Everyone and their brother has shared their hottest take on the Grasu injury and it’s ramifications (this is NOT a post about Matt Slauson), but the Bears have plenty of other injuries to be concerned about.
Coach John Fox said Sunday that Fuller has been battling a knee injury all offseason and would miss the New England trip to receive treatment to it. Fuller has had some ups and downs in his first two seasons and this will be a big year for him under a regime which did not draft him.
There has been virtually no word yet on when McPhee could return from the Physically Unable to Perform list but he’s already missed all of the Bourbonnais portion of training camp and will miss the first two preseason games and likely three, if not all of them.
Even if he were to be activated from the PUP when the team comes back to Chicago he’s going to need a week of practices to get back into playing shape and by then would you really want to throw him out into the fourth preseason game when most starters are held out to begin with?
The story is the same with Wilson. While Wilson doesn’t have quite the same role as McPhee, those are two contributors to the team that they will have been without for nearly all of July and August.
Royal is in a similar boat. He missed a ton of time last year and then has found himself in concussion protocol for a couple weeks. The concussion protocol is scary enough these days but if he can’t find himself out of it before the third preseason game it’s going to be a concern for the projected slot WR. Sure rookie Daniel Braverman has been getting high praises but he still hasn’t been lighting up starters and is far from a sure thing making the leap from Western Michigan to the NFL.
There is already reason to be concerned with the offensive line and center play but there are a lot of other injuries to be as concerned or more concerned about.
Which player are you most concerned with? How long before concern over players on the PUP can turn to panic?