“Bears kicking off training camp with a healthy Harris”was the headline I read on the Chicago Bears very own website. “Whew,” I thought to myself. “Thank God Tommie’s healthy. As important as the Jay Cutler acquisition has been, if the Bears defense, led by a healthy Harris, Urlacher and Briggs doesn’t get back to Super Bowl form, it may all be for naught.”
Here are some quotes from our fearless liar, I mean leader, Lovie Smith from the July 30th article:
“Tommie wasn’t 100 percent during some of the offseason work,” said coach Lovie Smith. “He is now, so our plan is for Tommie to get right into the mix just like the rest of our players.”
“Some of our players who have had injuries in the past, we’ve watched them closely and we’ll do that with Tommie, but he’s ready to go,” Smith said. “Tommie can be the best lineman in the game, and he’s healthy right now. He’s excited to play at that level.
“I know Rod is excited to get a chance to work with Tommie and the rest of our defensive line. Our lines dictate everything we do offensively and defensively, and they are ready to go.”
Now if I would only have hopped in my Delorean and zoomed forward a couple of weeks to August 10th, I’d have seen this headline “Bears confident Harris will soon be ready to practice” on the very same Chicago Bears website. They go on to explain how Tommie fessed up to his offseason knee surgery:
On Monday, Harris revealed to the media that he underwent an arthroscopic procedure in March, which better explains why he has been periodically held out of practices.
“I just had it really to go in there and look at what happened the last time and see why stuff was still coming back or different things were still showing up,” Harris said. “They went in there and there wasn’t anything major, just some scar tissue and stuff from the other surgery. Now we’re just playing it by ear.”
What gives? Why can’t we get a straight answer? Why was this kept such a secret? Didn’t they think it would get out? And if he had the surgery in March and it’s now August and he’s still not ready to go, what are the prospects of him being even close to 100% when it matters most, during the regular season.
I understand that teams try to protect their players and not give away too much about injuries during the season, but this is ridiculous. I wish the Bears would stop playing hide the cannoli with the fans and just be straight with us.
If Harris doesn’t return to his dominant form, it could be the start of a long season for the Bears D, which is predicated on the 3-technique tackle disrupting plays and getting into the backfield. That will be tough to do with a bum knee.
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