Imagine you’re a quarterback and this guy is coming after you:
— L8F4➰➰ (@Leonard90Flo) April 20, 2018
Envisioning Leonard Floyd pursuing and bringing down opposing quarterbacks is something Bears fans hope to see a lot of in 2018. And while Floyd sat out of this week’s three-day minicamp as he recovers from a season-ending knee injury, it doesn’t sound like head coach Matt Nagy is concerned about any lingering issues.
“I don’t know exactly where he’s at [in his recovery]. That would be something for our training staff,” Nagy said, via Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times. “But I do feel good about where he’s at. He’s been in here grinding every day, really trying to get better. I feel good about his situation.”
Let’s briefly re-visit The Situation. Floyd’s season ended when he suffered injuries to his MCL and PCL, but avoided an ACL tear which would have been a much more devastating blow to Floyd and the Bears’ long-term plans on the defensive side of the ball. Floyd looked to be hitting his stride as a second-year player, going on a six-game run in which he picked up 5.5 sacks, eight quarterback hits, and a safety after a painfully slow three-game start where he didn’t come up with any sacks.
Floyd graded out as one of the best 3-4 outside linebackers last season despite his season ending-injury. One metric showed how much progress Floyd had made to become one of the league’s better pass-rushers. But injury-shortened seasons in each of the first two years of his professional career are a cause for concern on some level.
Injuries aside, the Bears’ group of edge rushers could use some help – even if/when Floyd returns to full health. The team retained Sam Acho, who played all 16 games (including 12 starts) last year, but the only free agent the team added at the position was Aaron Lynch. The reunion with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio could work wonders for Lynch, who will try to re-capture the magic that had him looking like a rising star in his first two seasons in San Francisco. Still, there is no question edge rusher is still a position of need.
Floyd’s improving health and eventual return to the lineup could ease concerns across the board. And while Floyd has yet to take the field with his teammates, at least the team is publicly comfortable with where he is in the process not to be worried.