The Chicago Bears’ defense took a major hit early on Thursday night, one that could have a lasting impact the rest of the season.
Bears linebacker Roquan Smith went down with a pectoral injury during the first drive in their 31-24 win against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night at Soldier Field and did not return.
While evaluation is still ongoing, it’s feared that Smith tore his pec — an injury that would almost certainly sideline him for the remainder of the year, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Bears coach Matt Nagy didn’t sound optimistic after the win, either.
“It doesn’t look real good for him,” Nagy said, via the Chicago Tribune.
Smith, who was Chicago’s first-round pick in the 2018 draft, has been a tremendous asset for the Bears’ defense in recent weeks. The 22-year-old has 101 total tackles this season already, and is fresh off a stellar performance against the Detroit Lions last week — where he recorded a career-high 16 tackles and had two sacks in that Thanksgiving win.
Now, Smith’s disappearance didn’t hurt the Bears much at all on Thursday. Chicago embarrassed a struggling Dallas team in the seven-point win, a score that was far from indicative of how well the Bears put the Cowboys away.
Still, a lengthy absence “could be a big loss” for the Bears — especially with their postseason hopes still alive.
“The way that Roquan has been playing in the last couple weeks, flying around, making plays, you just love that confidence that he’s bringing to that defense,” Nagy said, via the Tribune. “The depth that [general manager Ryan Pace] and his guys have created on this roster allows someone like KPL, Kevin Pierre-Louis, to step up and make plays.
“You feel bad for Roquan, but we know that we have guys that can fill in. We had a lot of different guys that stepped up for guys that were injured tonight. That’s a good thing to have depth.”
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