When the Bears signed long snapper Chad Rempel, I called it an insurance policy since veteran long snapper Patrick Mannelly recovers from offseason hip surgery. Phil Emery and the Bears might be cashing in on the policy sooner than we think. The veteran Mannelly understands his mortality:
“As athletes you always think you can play forever and I’ve been lucky to play for a long time,” Mannelly said. “But I really want to listen to my body and see what happens. You always want to play forever. Your heart wants to play forever. Your mind wants to play forever. But we’ll see.
“I would feel bad if I didn’t give it everything I had and [slacked] in the offseason. I’m not going to do that. I truly want to find out. I want to put myself in a position where I get sore again and feel hurt every day and see how much I enjoy it and how I bounce back the next morning.”
For Mannelly, it’s about either returning to the Bears or hanging up the spikes and resuming life not looking through his legs. Since he’s not currently under contract with the Bears, he’s being exiled from Halas Hall and is heading to California to continue his rehab. If things go well, he could re-join the team for OTA’s in late May or June, assuming the Bears re-sign him.