I expected Eddie Goldman to be a Pro Bowler in 2016 for the Chicago Bears. I had such high hopes for him last offseason, that I put him at #3 on my 10 Most Important Bears’ list and wrote that he had the potential to be a “special” player. Goldman gave the Bears a presence in the middle of their defense as a rookie, and he came into last year’s camp in great shape, and was really wowing his teammates.
But that Pro Bowl season never materialized.
After having a relatively healthy rookie season, he landed on injured reserve last year after only playing in six games. He hurt his ankle early in the season, came back from the setback, but inured it again, causing him to end his sophomore season on IR.
With Goldman out last year, it was Akiem Hicks that had a chance to shine on Chicago’s defensive line, and he was a near-miss for a Pro Bowl nod. If Goldman is healthy, and ready to thrive in his third year, this duo will be hard to slow down. Factor in newcomer Jaye Howard, and potential improvement from second year pros Jonathan Bullard and Roy Robertson-Harris, and suddenly the Bears’ front three is formidable.
But the key for Goldman (6’4”, 325) will be staying healthy, and that’s why he’s really focused of getting his ankle ready for 2017.
From Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun Times;
Goldman is doing extra work to strengthen the ankle, but, other than keeping his fingers crossed, there’s not a whole lot he can do to work on avoiding another injury. “There’s little stuff you can do, but at the same time, it’s a risky game,” he said.
A healthy Goldman, and he is currently 100%, will help the Bears 27th ranked run defense, but he’s also shown in his brief time in the NFL, that he can push the pocket and get after the quarterback. He had 4.5 sacks as a rookie, and 2.5 in his six games last year.
I’m expecting a big year from Goldman in 2017.
I still think he has the potential to be special, and I’m also predicting he’ll be playing in the Pro Bowl at season’s end.