Chicago Sun-Times

Bears still healing in secondary; Dvoracek could top dubious list

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Danieal Manning and Zack Bowman were both on the practice field at the start of practice this afternoon, and that's a good sign as the secondary continues to slowly round itself back into form. Cornerback Charles Tillman was out playing catch with the quarterbacks before the session got started, but he hasn't been cleared for drills yet. We'll see how much work the others get done today when coach Lovie Smith speaks after practice.

Rookie defensive end Henry Melton was spotted with a walking boot on his right foot, and that's not a good sign with final cuts fast approaching. Melton really didn't do a whole lot in training camp, but he's incredibly athletic and the Bears admitted he was a project when they selected him in the fourth round from Texas. No word what the exact nature of his ankle injury is.

Defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek will undergo surgery on his right knee on Friday to determine if there's more to his injury than a sprained MCL. The Sun-Times reported he also has a torn ACL, and confirmed that report on its own. The folks at Football Outsiders put together a chart looking at the most injured players of the last decade. Dvoracek, who has been sidelined for 35 of 48 regular-season games over the last three seasons, will rank as the most inured player of the decade if he misses 11 games this season. The way his teammates spoke of him earlier this week, it's apparent they have been told to expect him to miss the season.

It's a tough story because Dvoracek has been such a diligent worker and is so well respected by everyone in Halas Hall.

"I think some things just happen for whatever reason,'' Smith said. "You can't understand why. I don't know the reasons why Dusty has had to deal with injuries. I know each time he has had to deal with an injury he has come back stronger. He was playing his best ball this past weekend when he had the injury. Right now, we're going to keep our fingers crossed and just hope for the best and go from there."

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So how closely does the NFL watch Injured Reserve? Seems like if they think Melton has enough potential to keep around, and they don't want to lose him, they could put him on IR, and let him heal and learn this season, and be ready to go for next year when we will have to deal with Ogunleye and Anderson being free agents.

Okwo, Bazuin, and others have been dumped on IR when their injuries were not season-ending, so it's not like we haven't done that before. I don't think he is ready for the 53 man roster, but if they like him, it could be the best thing for him in the short term. No sense in taking up a roster spot for a guy who isn't ready to play.

Knox will likely not make it through to the practice squad if he is cut, so he's another guy who we might be at risk for losing to another team. He doesn't seem to play as fast as a receiver as he does as a return man, and we have a ton of those guys already in Hester, Manning, Vasher, Bennett, Iglesias, and Moore (probably forgetting a couple of guys). We need some size at WR, so if I had to choose, Aromashodu and Rideau move ahead of Knox in the pecking order. I would love to see what Kinder can do in extended time, especially since he showed no evidence of the knee injury in his punt return against the Giants. But that is likely a dead end for the Bears, and he will either be outright released, or slip through to the practice squad.

Speaking of which, has anybody heard any news on the guys we were interested in from the draft? Ogletree, Nicks, Robiskie, Britt, or any of the wideouts we were targeting B.C. (Before Cutler)? Nicks was playing with the second and third team on Saturday, and Britt seemed to be mixing time with the 1st and second team for Tennessee. I have heard nothing about Robiskie, Massaquoi, and Ogletree.

It's nice to hear Danieal Manning and Zack Bowman are close to coming back. Its gonna be interesting to see where the coaching staff puts Manning, nickle or free safety? Manning has the range and the athleticism to be a heck of a free safety, its the mental part that is the big question mark with Manning. Kevin Payne has looked pretty good at free safety in Manning's absence. He's showing some range and had a nice pass breakup vs the Giants. Payne might not be a bad option, he's not a track star like Manning but does put himself in position for the big play, he led the team with four picks last season. It might be a good idea to keep Payne at free safety and let Manning be the nickleback, a position he excelled at last season, I guess we'll have to stay tuned in to find out?

Zack Bowman is a player I would love to see in action. We heard a lot of good things about him in camp and the OTA's, so its gonna be nice to see if his big play ability will carry over to the playing field, where it really counts. Hopefully the guy can come on and stay healthy.

Joe, I second you on Derek Kinder getting more playing time. He did have a catch vs the Giants. Kinder was my favorite receiver the Bears drafted last april. If he gets cut, I doubt he makes to the practice squad either. I guarantee another team will be quick to snatch up a former Biletnikoff finalist with size. I do hope he makes it to Chicago's practice squad if he gets cut. A lot of people are big on Knox, but to me, he seems hesitant to make a catch over the middle and doesn't seem to play very fast. Knox could be a pretty good returnman though, that could be his ticket to making the team. I doubt Chicago cuts Knox. Johnny Knox's future will be in the slot, so he definitely needs to speed his game up and not be so hesitant. The young receiver that needs to stick is Devin Aromashodu, even if other receivers do have draft status over him, this kid could be a find. Aromashodu has the size Chicago lacks and has seemed to built a pretty good rapport with Cutler, I hope he sticks, we shall see GO BEARS!!

Let me get this right, Dusty who is entering his 4th year in the league is probably going to hold the record for most injured player this decade. You know why cause most teams would have cut him by now and he would be out of the league. People get mad at me for saying you can't rely on guys like this and you have to do a better job of drafting lower risk players.

Joe, Britt will be a starter, he has looked good, he had a 5 catch 89 yard game against TB with a TD(That was my favorite reciever in the draft). Nicks was just here, he had a 55 yard reception. So I guess he is doing ok. Just remember rookie recivers take a little time to get it. Even Rice needed some time. Massaquoi who I am not a fan of and Robiskie are in CLE, so how good could they be doing? I heard the Cowboys like Ogletree so far.

The Bears need recievers!! Bennett will be fine but they need a stud, and the only way they will get it is in Free Agency, even if they don't get a stud like Marshall or Jackson, Kevin Walter would be a great pickup. They will need secondary help, DT help, DE help, Help on the Oline, if Williams goes down with a back issue they will need lots of help on the O-Line, Pace is kinda old, WR help as well. By the way this years crop of FS is a really good one. To bad Angelo does not put much stock in the position, which he has said himself. Cause finding a way to get Eric Berry would pretty awsome. Or Carlos Dunlap, OMG. You know someplace Angelo is drooling over Gerald McCoy, I will bet that he is looking at Granger and Marsh in the second round next year.

Kevin you liked Kinder the Best??? Really??? Well none of them look that good at reciever to be honest, but sense the Bears like to have them play all three positions, it will probably be a year before we see anything.

The Bears have basically redshirted a D-line guy almost every year Angelo has been around. I don't remember it paying off yet, but it really doesn't cost much either. Maybe Melton will be the one. I'm betting he will be in a boot till they PUP him or put him on IR. What he needs is time and the Bears probably were not expecting much from him this year anyway.

As far as I'm concerned they need to give Manning and Bowman all the time they need to heal. I remember when Urlacher had a hamstring in training camp a couple years ago. He came back too soon and was never really right the rest of the year.

Even though he is a veteran, Tillman could use some reps in a live game before they put him back in the starting lineup. He had a bad pre-season last year because of that deal with his daughter. He was understandably doing what he had to do. The point is his play in the regular season made me wonder if he is one of those players who really needs camp to get ready.

Creighton you blame every injury on bad drafting, bad coaching, or bad management. Dvoracek was drafted in the third round. There is no such thing as a low risk player in the third round. The draft risk on Dvoracek wasn't that he was injury prone. It was character. He has had no off-field issue that I know about since he turned pro. That gamble seems to have paid off.

Joe my feeling is that Rideau and Aromashodu are competing for one roster spot. Their skillsets are essentially the same. The Bears will keep one and cut the other. From what I've seen Aromashodu currently has an edge.

I agree with you on them keeping Knox, even though he is not ready for prime time. They had to know when they drafted him that it would be a year or two before he developed into an NFL receiver. It's hard to say much about Kinder except that he obviously hasn't earned game reps by showing enough in practice.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on August 27, 2009 2:39 PM.

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