The Bears held their annual Family Fest on Saturday night and the good news was the turf was in tip-top shape. The bad news is that a few more injuries marred what should have been a great night for football.
Rookie defensive end Cornelius Washington sprained his elbow, which hurts for a rookie trying to catch on to the way of life in the NFL. Alshon Jeffery and Julius Peppers were both limited with tightness in their hamstrings, but those are considered mild.
Kelvin Hayden hurt his hamstring and is another “week-to-week” injury. The most serious injury of the night is a possible concussion suffered late in practice. Considering Bennett has a history of concussions, this could be serious and something that should be monitored.
The great news for the Bears (knock on wood) is that you haven’t heard the letters ACL used with any of their key guys and aside from Turk McBride’s Achilles, none of these injuries are expected to keep anyone out too long. I’ve heard a lot of people say not to worry about these “bumps and bruises” with more than a month until the season opener, but it’s never too early to start worrying. Here’s why I’m a little concerned:
On the offensive side of the ball, the Bears are implementing a brand new offensive system. In order to get that installed properly, you need reps and lot of them. Having a wide receiver like Earl Bennett or up and comer Alshon Jeffery missing time can really stunt their growth in the system and give Jay Cutler less time with his top targets.
Injuries on the offensive line, like the one that’s got Jermon Bushrod sidelined, really hurt that group trying to build some cohesiveness. Like no other group on the team, the offensive line is like a team within a team. There are a lot of moving parts in that group, with only Roberto Garza starts in the same spot he finished up last season.
There is no reason to worry about depth in the preseason, but it raises important questions about your depth when October rolls around and some of these injuries creep back up . You can tell that with the bumps and bruises to Bushrod and Jonathan Scott, the offensive line has been scrambling to find suitable backups. There hasn’t been this much shuffling since THE Shuffle back in ’85. If they can’t figure out who’s playing where, there will be no shuffling this season.
A lot of these injuries have a way of lingering beyond camp and drifting into the season. Maybe Kelvin Hayden can come back in a week or two, but the first time he has to turn and burn in a real game, that hammy could have a way of popping again and now it’s missed time during the regular season when it actually matters.
What do you think? Am I just being a worrywart or do these injuries have some deeper significance? Which of these injuries should we be worried about? Let’s see your Comments.