Bryce Callahan’s season is over.
When news surfaced on Tuesday that Bryce Callahan’s foot was broken, there was still a glimmer of hope that he could return.
If Callahan’s break was up near the pinky toe, he would be able to come back in early as two weeks, meaning he might be able to play in the playoffs. If the break was further back and more weight-bearing, it would mean that his season would be over, and perhaps require surgery.
Today, more information surfaced and it wasn’t what anyone was hoping for.
And just like that, the Chicago Bears’ defense is no longer whole.
The Bears have missed much of the injury bug for the entire season. Kyle Long and Adam Shaheen have missed significant time on offense, but no key player has missed more than two games on the defensive side of the ball.
Callahan will miss the team’s remaining three regular season games, plus any post-season games the Bears end up playing. It’s a tough break for Chicago, but one that they should be able to withstand.
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The Bears’ have been playing a nickel as their base defense for much of the season, it will be interesting to see if they play more traditional 3-4 base after this, or keep with the nickel and keep Sherrick McManis on the field. McManis filled in for Callahan against the LA Rams and did an excellent job.
Can McManis keep it up for the rest of the season? He’s going to have to if the Bears want to make a deep playoff run.
The Bears signed Marcus Williams, a cornerback who spent most of his career with the New York Jets, to replace Callahan on the 53-man roster. This is not the same Marcus Williams currently playing for the New Orleans Saints, different player, same name.
Callahan is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, it will be interesting to see if the Bears try to re-sign Callahan prior to allowing him to hit free agency. Despite his injury history, Callahan proved to be an important piece to the Bears’ defense and his loss would leave a big hole to fill.
That’s not an issue for Ryan Pace yet, but it’s one that will arise shortly after the Bears’ season ends.