Adding injury to insult isn’t how I wanted to spend my day, but a post-game injury round-up is necessary after the Bears’ loss to the Packers last night.
This caused my heart to skip a beat last night:
Weird to see Justin Fields walk up Packers tunnel but must be getting examined for something pic.twitter.com/pUJdd4H2cQ
— Lance Allan (@lanceallan) December 13, 2021
Matt Nagy said he doesn't know if Justin Fields came out of the game healthy. Said he thinks they were looking at his hand. Doesn't know if they were doing x-rays.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) December 13, 2021
But it sounds like a worst-case scenario was avoided:
Matt Nagy says the left hand injury for Justin Fields isn't expected to be a significant problem. #Bears
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) December 13, 2021
Justin Fields has really been through it this year. The rookie quarterback has taken his share of hits. And yet, he keeps bouncing back up. Bless his heart. He’ll need that gumption as he continues through the rest of this season.
In a moment in which he wasn’t cozying up to narrative in an attempt to rebuild Aaron Rodgers credibility, Cris Collinsworth asked a prudent question: Where would the Bears be without Jason Peters? The Bears might still be 4-9 without Peters. But I don’t want to think about where Fields would be if Peters wasn’t protecting his blindside. That is the stuff that haunts my dreams.
The 39-year-old tackle has been the team’s best and steadiest lineman all year. His early season hiccups against the Browns notwithstanding, Peters has been great. But for a guy who came to town with minimal offseason work and condensed training camp, Peters has been awesome. Unfortunately, Peters went down with a first-quarter ankle injury which thrust Teven Jenkins into action at left tackle.
Nagy told reporters they were monitoring the situation, and that Peters would resume starting LT duties if he is given clearance. But there are alternatives in case that doesn’t play out:
Jason Peters would return to his starting role at left tackle if healthy, Matt Nagy said. But the Bears are still seeking the extent of his ankle injury.
Nagy didn't rule out the possibility of Teven Jenkins seeing time at right tackle. Larry Borom could also play left tackle.
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) December 13, 2021
On the other side of the ball, the Bears’ most important building block is back in injury protocol:
Matt Nagy said that Roquan Smith's hamstring issue is in the same leg as the original injury in Detroit.
"We’ll keep an eye on it. He just felt something there so we want to be smart there."
— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) December 13, 2021
Ugh. The same hamstring injury that caused Roquan Smith problems against the Lions and put his status against the Cardinals in doubt is bugging him again. Smith, who played 100 percent of the team’s defensive snaps in every game except for Thanksgiving showdown in Detroit, was in on just 72 percent on the defensive snaps against the Packers. Not only should the Bears monitor this situation, they should proceed with caution.
This one will sting more than you might otherwise think:
Coach Nagy announced that DeAndre Houston-Carson has a fractured forearm and will need surgery. He will be placed on IR.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 13, 2021
DeAndre Houston-Carson is going on IR with a forearm injury that requires surgery. That puts the do-it-all defensive back out of action for the season’s remaining games. Further complicating things is how Houston-Carson’s injury impacts the Bears on multiple levels. In addition to being a special teams mainstay, Houston-Carson set a career high in defensive snaps played (419) and percentage of defensive snaps (50%). But that only tells part of the story. Here is a breakdown of where the Bears have been using DHC, with data from Pro Football Focus:
• Safety: Box safety (179 saps), free safety (143)
• Cornerback: Slot (83), Wide (4)
• Defensive front: D-Line (11)
• Special teams coverage: Punts (50), kicks (43)
• Return game: Kicks (56), Punts (30)
• Kicking: Field goal + PAT block team (59)
The William and Mary product has been a revelation. He’ll certainly be missed in so many different facets of the game.
Odds and Ends
These players also suffered injuries last night, and their status should be monitored as we go through this week:
• Nose tackle Khyiris Tonga (shoulder) is a reserve defensive lineman whose injury status makes him the latest at his position group to go down with an injury. Akiem Hicks’ pending return would help soften the blow of a loss to the depth. But Hicks is working his way back through an injury of his own.
• Cornerback Xavier Crawford (concussion) went into concussion protocol after Eddie Jackson came through with friendly fire. Crawford’s concussion issues came after a bust in the coverage put him in a bad position — in more ways than one. The Bears are already down Duke Shelley and will soon lose DeAndre Houston-Carson. Anyone out there with cornerback experience? If so, send your résumés to Halas Hall.