LAKE FOREST- If losing two in-a-row wasn’t bad enough for the Chicago Bears, things only got worse after Sunday’s loss against New Orleans. On Monday, it was revealed that defensive tackle Nate Collins tore the ACL in his knee against the Saints (he’s now on injured reserve). He walked off the field on his own power (albeit gingerly) late in the second half of Sunday’s contest. The injury was revealed after Collins underwent an MRI. Not helping matters is the fact that the man who normally lines up next to him, Stephen Paea, continues to battle a toe injury that kept him from starting on Sunday.
Once Collins was removed from the game, recent addition Landon Cohen saw extended playing time. The Bears also moved defensive end Corey Wootton to the inside to give Cohen a breather. This would allow rookie Cornelius Washington along with David Bass to see extra reps. Zach Minter did not play but was available. But now, the Bears only have two defensive tackles on the active roster.
With the Bears only having a couple of days to prepare for the New York Giants, they have been working quickly to fix the problems with depth at the defensive tackle position. The position was thin enough after Henry Melton suffered his season ending injury against Pittsburgh two weeks ago. Expect Minter to see more playing time this week, especially if Paea is unable to go (he’ll be a game time decision).
All of this could unfortunately work in the Giants’ favor. Their quarterback Eli Manning, has been sacked 15 times in just five games. If the Bears are weak up front on Thursday night, it could provide relief for the two-time Super Bowl champion. Relief that could once again expose the Bears pass defense which has struggled recently. A lack of depth on the interior of the line could also assist the Giants’ rushing attack which is the worst in the NFL right now.
Not having Melton, Collins, or even Paea to worry about could make it easier for the “G-Men’s” offensive line to create holes for Brandon Jacobs and David Wilson. Considering many are picking the Bears to win this game, Bears fans are hoping that head coach Marc Trestman and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker can patch these holes (at least temporarily) in order to break their losing streak. The short week for the Bears has already tested their resolve.
Follow me on Twitter @GabeSalgado82