Not to be lost amid the swirl of coaching rumors and interviews, the Chicago Bears do still have football players of consequence, with updates worth sharing.
Specifically, in this case, the knee-related recoveries of a couple players who would have been key contributors in 2017 had they been healthy all year.
Wide receiver Cam Meredith was in position to be “the” guy in a thin wide receiver corps that had just lost Alshon Jeffery. But a preseason ACL tear ended his season before it began, and he’s been recovering ever since. Chris Emma reports that the process is going well, though, and Meredith could be ready as soon as OTAs in May, just nine months after his initial injury. Although you can never be certain how a player will respond following a major knee injury, at just 25 years old and with a speedy recovery underway, the Bears will be hopeful that Meredith can be a big part of the Mitch-Trubisky-led offense next season. (Together with several other high-caliber pass-catching options, please and thank you.)
Meanwhile, linebacker Leonard Floyd is also recovering well from a knee injury suffered in November. He avoided an ACL tear, though the injury was serious enough to end his season and probably keep him out until training camp in July.
Floyd, also 25, was the Bears’ first round pick in 2016 (9th overall), and showed signs of impact ability in both 2016 and 2017, though injuries have kept him off the field for just enough time to leave questions about what he can be over the next few years. Like Meredith, you just hope that the knee injury doesn’t present any kind of long-term ill effects to Floyd’s athleticism. We’ll presumably get a better sense for that as the summer approaches.