Bears linebacker Roquan Smith has suffered a season-ending torn pectoral that will place him on the injured reserve for the remainder of the year, coach Matt Nagy announced in a press conference on Monday. Smith will have surgery to repair the injury at an undisclosed time.
Smith suffered the injury 17 snaps into Thursday night’s matchup with the Cowboys, in which he tallied two tackles before exiting the game. Kevin Pierre-Louis took his spot in the starting lineup.
The injury is a huge blow to the Bears’ defense, who have benefitted from Smith’s high level of play in recent weeks. Prior to this past week, the 2018 first-round pick had put up double-digit tackle numbers in four of his last five games. He finishes the season with 100 tackles, two sacks and an interception in 12 games.
Pierre-Louis will likely continue to play in Smith’s place, though there remains a chance that Danny Trevathan is activated from his elbow injury sooner rather than later. Regardless of who starts at inside linebacker going forward, Chicago will need them to step up if they want to come close to replicating Smith’s recent caliber of play.