The Chicago Bears secondary appears to be catching a (much-needed) break.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin suffered a Grade 2 partial MCL tear. And while the team was initially unsure how much time Baldwin would miss because of the injury, it doesn’t sound like he will be back any time soon.
Schefter’s ESPN teammate Brady Henderson reports that the Seahawks aren’t expecting star wide receiver Doug Baldwin to play on Monday night … or within the near future. Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll told reporters Baldwin could be out “a couple of weeks” after suffering the injury in a Week 1 loss to the Denver Broncos, but seemed to be hesitant to put a timetable on the return.
“Let’s see what happens. We’ll wait and see,” Carroll told reporters. “We don’t know yet. It could be a couple weeks. It could be a couple weeks, and we’ll find out. He’s as tough as you get. We’ll need to wait.”
You don’t ever want to see anyone get injured or hear about how a player whose injuries can severely impact a team, but the Bears appear to be catching a break if Baldwin is out of action when the lights go on for Monday Night Football. A secondary that was torched for three fourth-quarter Aaron Rodgers touchdown passes could use all the help it could get in order to get back on track.
Baldwin played 11 snaps before the injury and was targeted just once by quarterback Russell Wilson when he was on the field. Last year, he was Seattle’s best and most reliable pass-catching option. He caught 75 passes, gained 991 receiving yards, and scored eight touchdowns in 2017, a year that ended with him making the Pro Bowl for a second consecutive season. Since the start of the 2015 season, Baldwin has averaged 82 catches, 1,062 yards, and nine touchdowns.
To say Baldwin is a key cog in their passing game feels like an understatement. Wilson posted a 100.2 passer rating when throwing to Baldwin last season, but that number slid to 94.1 when he threw to anyone else. It’s still a very good number, but it’s crystal clear that Baldwin’s presence makes Wilson that much more dangerous in the passing game.
With Baldwin sidelined, ex-Bears receiver Brandon Marshall is the most experienced member of Seattle’s receivers corps. And that sets things up for quite a potential revenge game for the former All-Pro wideout. It will be interesting to hear if the always opinionated Marshall has anything to say regarding his return to Soldier Field this week now that he figures to be targeted more if Baldwin is indeed out of the picture.