The organization that has had three first-day draft picks spend their entire rookie season on injured reserve over the last two season has had another serious injury.
First-round draft pick Chris Williams has had surgery to repair a herniated disc in his lower back. The plan is to keep him on the 53-man roster at this point, but when the offensive tackle will be able to return, no one can say.
The Bears are considering adding a veteran, including ex-Bear Fred Miller, and have already cleared a roster spot by placing running back Matt Lawrence on injured reserve.
The Bears are comparing the situation to what cornerback Charles Tillman underwent last season. Tillman had surgery following Super Bowl XLI to repair a herniated disc. That surgery happened in February and he was not cleared to fully return to drills until June.
If Williams follows a similar timetable, his chances of playing this season would have to be considered slim. Tillman is a cornerback. As a lineman, Williams is taking pounding on every play.
Williams was injured July 24 in the second practice of training camp, a non-contact drill. The team said it was a muscular issue but when that issue calmed down, they detected the disc issue. Team physician Mark Bowen and Dr. Srdjan Morkovic performed the surgery late Wednesday night.