Chicago has had several injuries on the offensive line that have hurt the effectiveness of that unit. The most crippling injury has been that of guard Kyle Long. Long had been playing the season, up to his final injury, with a torn labrum and was playing well despite the injury.
Then, in the Bears’ game against the Packers, Long went out with an arm injury which was deemed to be “significant”. It was thought he would be out for quite a while but after just one game missed, Long was back and playing again. His good fortune didn’t last long however and in the Tampa Bay game, he went out with a right ankle injury. He is on injured reserve now and facing surgery for the shoulder and the ankle very soon.
Long’s partner on the opposite side, Josh Sitton, had some injury problems also. He was hurt in the game in Week Six and missed the Packers and the Vikings games. He returned against the Buccaneers and played well. The Bears were happy to have him back.
Unfortunately for Sitton and the Bears, he went out of the Giants game with more ankle problems and may miss some additional time. The Bears can ill afford to have too many of their starters missing from the line but it looks like they are going to have to deal with this. The offense will struggle as a result.
Before the season even started, Chicago lost it’s starting center Hroniss Grasu for the entire year. They were lucky that rookie guard Cody Whitehair could step in and play. Whitehair has played very well as the starter and has proven to be a valuable and worthwhile draft pick.
At the time of this writing, starting tackle Bobby Massie was going through the NFL’s concussion protocol. He suffered it in Chicago’s game against the Buccaneers and he has practiced in a limited basis this week. He might be back in time for the Bears’ game against the Titans this Sunday.
The injuries to the offensive line have really hurt the Bears this season. With two of their starters out for an extended period (Long and Sitton) this unit will struggle. They have gotten some decent play out of the depth players (the Vikings win is proof) but they aren’t loaded with a lot of talent and depth like other teams are. Hopefully the Bears will have better luck with health here next year.
UPDATE: Offensive lineman Mike Adams was recently added to the injury report. He is suffering from a biceps injury and has been limited in practice. We should also remember the Nick Becton is on injured reserve with an elbow injury.