It happens every summer. I see news of players going on the PUP list and think to myself, the PUP List sounds like a wonderful list. That is, of course, until I snap back to reality and remember the PUP list isn’t as cute or adorable as the name makes it out to be.
And then, when I see Bears players landing on the PUP list, my mood turns sour:
#Bears roster moves:
We have placed DB Eddie Jackson on the Non-Football Injury list and OL Germain Ifedi on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) July 28, 2021
Safety Eddie Jackson and right tackle Germain Ifedi are going be out of action to start camp. Jackson is heading to the non-football injury list because of a hamstring issue. Meanwhile, Ifedi is going on to the physically unable to perform list. Because that is what PUP stands for — physically unable to perform. Ugh. And now I’m bummed again about the PUP List not being what I want it to be.
It stinks when guys miss the beginning of training camp. But it truly stings when it’s two key cogs in the Bears’ machine. Jackson, 27, is the team’s most experienced (and arguably, best) returning member of the secondary. Few players are entering 2021 with more motivation than Jackson, who didn’t get a single interception last year. With young players throughout cornerbacks room, Chicago needs Jackson to be good (and healthy!) as the last line of defense in the defensive backfield.
If it’s any consolation, at least Matt Nagy doesn’t seem worried:
The Bears are "not overly concerned" with Eddie Jackson's hamstring injury, Matt Nagy said.
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) July 28, 2021
As for Ifedi, who just turned 27 in June, he is the team’s starting right tackle. Ifedi’s position coach has high hopes for his pupil, but a hip flexor injury is something the team should treat in a cautious manner. Then again, I can say the same thing about the offensive line as a whole. If that group isn’t playing well and as a cohesive unit, it won’t matter who is quarterbacking.
Part of me is wanting not to worry so much about injury issues in late July. There are 17 days until the team’s first preseason game, 31 until the exhibition finale, and 46 until the regular-season opener. In other words, there is ample time to get everyone fully healthy for the most important games of the year. But because we’re talking about a pair of starters, I can’t escape having some level of concern. In the meantime, I’ll try to distract myself by pointing out that this could provide opportunities for DeAndre Houston-Carson, Jordan Lucas, and Deon Bush to get some more reps. And we’ll get to see who is getting practice snaps at right tackle in Ifedi’s place.
Next man up, come on down!