The whole incident with Fuller was a hot topic with the Bears and fans in 2016. Fuller had a knee scope prior to the start of the season and was placed on injured reserve. He was slated to come back later on in the year.
But when it came time to bring him off of injured reserve he couldn’t do it and he ended up on season ending injured reserve. Fans will recall the words of his defensive coach, Vic Fangio, who called him out, stating in a quote from the Chicago Tribune, in an article by Brad Biggs:
"“Any time a guy’s hurt, there’s three stages to getting back to the field,” Fangio said. “One is you’ve got to get medical clearance. Two, the player’s got to say he’s ready to go and feels confident and he’s champing at the bit to go play. And then the coaches get involved and see if he’s better than what the other choices are and if he really is back to being able to play. A has happened. B hasn’t. So C is a non-issue.”"
So why didn’t Fuller seemingly want to come back and play last year? Was he actually still hurt? We will probably never know the truth, but there is a theory.
There are some professional athletes that have a hard time getting back on the field, following an injury, due to their mental state. They may not want to go back out there because they fear they could get hurt again. They don’t want to repeat the injury and have to go through all that rehab and work to get back in the lineup and then get knocked out again. You can’t blame them. Sometimes these injuries are painful and the player doesn’t want to go through that a second or third time.
Could this be what happened to Fuller? Was he just too nervous to take the field again last season? Or wasn’t he fully healed from his knee scope?
Hopefully Fuller will be able to come back and play in 2017 and prove all his doubters wrong.