Mannelly has been the Bears long snapper since 1998.
BOURBONNAIS- As the Bears made their way back from Carolina, they did so with more players on the injured list then there were before the game. One of those injured players is long snapper Patrick Mannelly.
He suffered a rib injury on the first punt of last night’s loss to the Panthers. Today it’s being reported that the 38-year-old special teams mainstay suffered a cracked rib. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that he could miss the remainder of the Bears exhibition schedule but will return in time for the season opener against Cincinnati.
Mannelly has managed to stay healthy through most of his career. The only major injuries he’s had in a Bears uniform were a torn ACL in 2011 and a hip injury during the 2010 preseason. Even though the former Duke offensive tackle plays only special teams in the NFL, his leadership and veteran presence in the Bears locker room are second to none.
The Tribune is also reporting that the Bears have signed Brandon Hartson to be the long snapper on a temporary basis until Mannelly returns. Hartson is an undrafted rookie out of Houston who took part in the Bears rookie minicamp in May on a tryout basis.
Hartson is the third player from that minicamp who has signed with the Bears in the last few weeks. Mannelly is just one of many Bears players who have been injured recently. The Bears will be back on the practice field at Olivet Nazarene University tomorrow at 3pm.
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