Bilal Nichols left Sunday’s win against the Broncos after suffering a hand injury and never returned.
Now we know why:
#Bears HC Matt Nagy reveals that defensive lineman Bilal Nichols broke his hand in Sunday's win over the Broncos. Still likely will not be placed on injured reserve.
— Larry Mayer (@LarryMayer) September 19, 2019
Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy told reporters at Halas Hall that Nichols has a broken hand, adding that the defensive lineman’s chances to play on Monday Night Football against Washington “doesn’t look good.” Nichols’ injury represents the first major one of Chicago’s 2019 season, as losing a starting defensive lineman is a significant blow — even if it is for a short period of time.
Even though losing Nichols stings, things could be much worse. Nagy made note that Nichols is not like to be placed on injured reserve. That leaves open the possibility that Nichols will not miss too much of an extended period of time this season. Nagy also suggested Nichols could wear a club on his broken hand, much like the one Leonard Floyd wore to start the 2018 season. If Nichols can play at any point down the line, it would be a welcome return to the lineup.
Without Nichols, the Bears will turn to Roy Robertson-Harris to take the snaps left behind. Robertson-Harris had a breakthrough season last year and could stand to raise his profile even more with an increased snap share. But with early season injuries to Eddie Goldman (who played through an oblique issue that limited him in practice before Week 2) and Nichols, Chicago’s depth will be tested early.