All indications are that Hunter Hillenmeyer did not suffered a fractured rib in Sundays victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Hillenmeyer was originally injured on a run play in the second quarter, and then he tried to continue playing before taking two more hits in the same area on his torso.
He was examined at Qwest Field, and in cases like this the team always gives the player an X-ray. Following the game, a source said the injury was not that serious, and coach Lovie Smith backed that up today at his press conference.
"We'll see how that plays out the rest of the week, hopefully he'll be able to go [Sunday vs. Detroit],'' Smith said. ``It isn't as serious as [tight end Desmond Clark's] injury, so hopefully we'll get good news on that front.''
Clark suffered a fractured rib in the opener at Green Bay, but he returned to practice for limited duty on Friday, and it's his hope that he will play vs. the Lions after missing just two weeks. Still, the Bears are going to have to consider adding some help at the position. They are razor thin at linebacker. Pisa Tinoisamoa will probably test out his sprained right knee in practice this week, and there is a possibility he will return to action against Detroit. Like Clark, he was injured in the opener. But when Hillenmeyer went down, the Bears were left with only one reserve linebacker--recently signed Tim Shaw. Nick Roach moved from strong side to the middle, and Jamar Williams took over at strong side.
"We'll keep all of our options open like we do,'' Smith said about seeking help. ``We'll evaluate the situation.''
With the bye following the Lions game, it's possible the Bears will stand pat. If Hillenmeyer, Tinoisamoa or both can return this week, they could give it a go instead of having to cut a player, probably a defensive back, to add a temporary reserve linebacker. The Bears already considered the possibility of adding veteran Derrick Brooks after the opener in Green Bay when Tinoisamoa was injured and Brian Urlacher was lost for the season.