The Bears had some medical oddities in 2016. From Kyle Fuller missing the season following a knee scope to suspensions for performance enhancing drugs, Chicago had significant issues. It’s time to take a deeper dive into some medical and the drug related suspensions which ultimately took Chicago down last season.
The 2016 Chicago Bears had 19 players on injured reserve by the time the 2016 ended. Yes, 19! It’s nearly impossible to have a winning team when most of your starters and their backups aren’t even on the field. Yes, the Bears may have had other problems that prevented them from seeing success on Sundays but injuries were, perhaps, the biggest factor.
Then you had the suspensions for PED use. The Bears had two players suspended for using performance enhancing drugs in 2016. They were linebacker Jerrell Freeman and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and both of those players were lost four games each. This set the Bears back in terms of their game planning. When you take your top tackler and your top wide receiver out for four games, that can cause a lot of problems.
Finally, there is the lingering knee injury that cornerback Kyle Fuller suffered from all last season. He had surgery on his knee in the preseason and it was thought he would be able come back during the season. But he did not get back on the field and missed the entire season. His defensive coach, Vic Fangio, even called him out regarding his desire to play. Did Fuller lose the will to play? What could his story be?
Yes, the 2016 season has ended and hopefully what happened last year won’t repeat itself next season. But to learn what is going to happen in the future, you need to look at what has happened in the past. The hope is to prevent history from repeating itself.
The following is a brief look at some of the medical issues related to the Bears’ dismal 2016 season. We will look at the numbers related to injured reserve. There will be a brief look at the PED suspensions and what might have happened to Fuller last season. There is always a different way to look at why things went south in 2016 and looking at the health of the Bears is one of them.