Leonard Floyd was set to enter the 2018 season as the Chicago Bears’ best pass-rusher until some guy named Khalil Mack came around and stole that title. But with Mack in the fold, the hope was that the extra attention sent his way would free up Floyd for some bigger plays and opportunities. So far, it hasn’t quite unfolded like that for Floyd – and that might have something to do with the massive club he wears on his injured right hand – but to that end, good news appears to be on the horizon.
After playing two games with the club, Floyd is ready to downsize:
#Bears HC Matt Nagy says Leonard Floyd likely will have smaller "club" on his broken hand and will have use of his fingers in Sunday's game at Arizona.
— Larry Mayer (@LarryMayer) September 20, 2018
Not only will Floyd’s new protection be smaller in size, it should allow Floyd to actually use his hands and fingers. This could be a difference-maker for Floyd, who has no sacks, no tackles for loss, and no quarterback hits in the 85 snaps he’s played in two games this season.
Floyd did come up with an important fumble recovery in the Bears’ win against the Seahawks Monday night and has Pro Football Focus’ fifth best coverage grade and 17th best run defense grade among edge rushers, but still … we’d like to see him rush the passer like we know he can.
*Floyd has been practicing with a club on his fractured right hand since the week leading up to the season-opener against the Green Bay Packers, but there was hope that he could shed the bulky thing soon-ish. The club was necessary after Floyd fractured his hand during the team’s preseason exhibition against the Denver Broncos. The timing couldn’t have been worse for Floyd, who had just really gotten in tune with using his hands as a pass-rusher.
But with Floyd using a smaller brace for protection starting in Week 3, it could mean that it won’t be long before he ditches it altogether. And wouldn’t that be nice?