Khalil Mack’s time on the injury report has often been brushed aside this season because he has turned those DNP days into maintenance moments to prepare him for game day. And things were working out through last Sunday.
But Mack has reached a crossroads with this injury to the point where he needs a real break:
#Bears Pro Bowl pass-rusher Khalil Mack is not expected to play this week, per @MikeGarafolo and me, as the team will allow his ailing foot to rest. Giving him three weeks while on Injured Reserve to heal and rehab is being discussed. A significant blow to the Chicago defense.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 27, 2021
“A significant blow to the Chicago defense” is an understatement, Mr. Rapoport.
NFL Network insiders Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo report Mack isn’t expected to play this week vs. the 49ers because of a foot injury. It’s the same injury that has limited his practice participation and kept the Bears cognizant of his usage. Further, the team could place Mack on IR*, giving him an extended period of rest, healing, and rehabilitation. Yikes!
Mack, 30, has been ballin’ for the Bears in a big way. He has 6 sacks, 6 tackles-for-loss, and 7 quarterback hits in seven games this season. The Mack attack is one of the primary reasons the Bears have been as competitive a they’ve been this season. Being without Mack will make an already steep hill to climb that much more challenging.
Losing him, in isolation, stinks in the biggest way. But if you throw in Robert Quinn (COVID reserve list) and Akiem Hicks (missed two of the last three games with a groin injury) possibly being unavailable, being without Mack for any period of time is another whammy this defense can’t afford.
*The Bears have a bye in Week 10, which means a stint on IR could keep Mack out through Week 8, Week 9, Week 10, and Week 11 (three games, not weeks, are required to pass before returning from IR). That would have him returning – at the earliest – against the Lions for Week 12.