Brandon Hardin is the most recent Bear to go down with an injury.
Following Saturday’s performance by the starting unit, Bears fans everywhere should be exhaling a huge sigh of relief this week.
Cutler-to-Marshall was finally on display, the line actually protected Jay (gasp!), and Israel Idonije led the first team defense in their solid effort to contain RG3.
Instead, fans and the Bears front office are forced to keep an eye on an ever-growing injuries list.
It was bad enough that we’ve had a new development in the saga involving Brian Urlacher’s knee almost every day and Stephen Paea’s ankle isn’t fully healed. Now we can add the names Corey Wootton, Adam Podlesh, Blake Costanzo, and pretty much the entire safety rotation to the names of injured players.
Let’s start with the “serious but not so serious” injuries. Adam Podlesh pulled up lame while trying to chase down Brandon Banks on a punt return. Keep in mind Banks can run a 4.4 forty.
But according to Podlesh his left hip flexor injury may have looked worse than it actually is. After the game he said he’d be more concerned if it was his right hip because that would affect his kicking motion.
He had an MRI Sunday morning but still expects to be ready by Week 1.
Starting safety Chris Conte left the field in the first half of Saturday’s game with an apparent shoulder injury. He left the stadium with his right arm in a sling but Coach Lovie Smith expects Conte to be back by the Week 3 preseason matchup with the Giants.
Both linebacker Blake Constanzo and defensive end Corey Wootton dealt with lower body injuries during the game but nothing appears to be serious on either front. Costanzo actually tried to walk off his leg cramps and was laughing with trainers on the way off the field.
The only concern here would be with Wootton. This is his third year as a Bear and by all accounts he’s having a good training camp where he’s finally living up to some of the hype he’s carried with him. But now we can add this groin injury to the laundry list of others he’s dealt with since his years at Northwestern.
The only major concern from Saturday would be the neck injury to rookie safety Brandon Hardin. The fact that he had to be taken off on a stretcher is one thing. But on Monday the Bears agreed to terms with former Seahawk safety prospect Mark LeGree, meaning it might be a while until we see Hardin on the field again.
Hardin’s dealt with injuries since his days atOregonState. He suffered a shoulder injury that caused him to miss his entire senior year and heavily downgrade his draft stock.
Hardin was able to leave the hospital on Monday morning and reportedly never lost consciousness or feeling in any of his limbs. But the Bears will take a very cautious approach with his return and will not make any further decisions on his roster status until they review the MRI they scheduled for him in early September.
On Monday, Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com reported that a source close to Hardin said he feels well enough to play next week. On the other end of the spectrum, there has been talk that the Bears may put Hardin on IR depending on the MRI results.
Either way, a neck injury is never a one-time quick fix injury. Peyton Manning can let you know all about that.
Former Bear Hunter Hillenmeyer summed it up best with by tweeting, “ ‘With all the injuries at safety…’ I could be reading a comment from any and every year in the last decade for [the] Bears.”
But it’s not just the safeties who’ve been decimated by injuries seemingly every year. From Jim Miller’s injury in the 2002 playoffs to the injuries to Cutler and Forte that ruined last season, the Bears have always been subject to untimely losses of key players.
And when you think about it, injuries that derail a season have become a “Chicagothing” as of late. Just ask Jonathan Toews or Derrick Rose.
So here’s to good fortune and good health for the Bears this season. But if Week 2 was any indication for the season, we may be in for some déjà vu.
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