Chicago Sun-Times

Lovie delivers positive injury news on Idonije, Hester, Knox

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Nearly two weeks until the Bears have to suit up again in Atlanta, Lovie Smith said he is counting on all of his players to be available to face the Falcons?

Realistic? Maybe not. Possible? Sure. Smith confirmed the Sun-Times report that defensive lineman Israel Idonije had arthroscopic knee surgery today. He sounded more confident that wide receivers Devin Hester and Johnny Knox and linebackers Pisa Tinoisamoa and Hunter Hillenmeyer will be back.

"Clean up, you know, a little bit in one of his knees,'' Smith said about Idonije. "Should be ready to go. Nothing major. Minor procedure that we had scheduled, so he should be all right."

Asked directly if he expects him to play without missing a game, Smith hedged a little.

"It's unknown but we feel pretty good about him coming back, quickly, soon, all of those,'' he said. "But we'll see how it goes. Pretty tough guy. He'll be back out there before long."

The Bears called Hester's injury a shoulder injury on Sunday when he left the game early in the second quarter after being hit by Lions defensive backs Louis Delmas and William James. Smith called it a "shoulder area" injury this afternoon, and Hester was spotted leaving Soldier Field on Sunday. That makes it possible Hester had a stinger. Whatever the case is, he's expected to face the Falcons. So is Knox, who Smith reiterated has a shin injury.

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Good news on all players, except any news on AP?


I'm worried about AP too.

Lovie's pattern has been to be candid about players who are OK, coy about players who are seriously injured.

The team seriously needs to consider signing a vet, no matter APs status, but especially if he is out for any extended period of time.

Sorry, but the team cannot continue to think that it can function with Garrett Wolfe as the backup.

Should Forte go down, the team would essentially have zero running game.

I'm willing to say he MIGHT be useful at times, but he is not a backup who can carry the load.

And if they sign someone, they need a player who is effective in short yardage.

I wouldn't mind seeing them take a long look at TJ Duckett

I would expect the Bears to activate Ta'ufo'ou from the practice squad, and move McKie to third tailback if Peterson is out for any length of time, but not season-ending. At least McKie knows the offense, and would probably manage to get a few yards at a time. I would love for us to take this opportunity to try out a few prospects that either are on the street, or on someone else's practice squad, as a potential backup/3rd RB. Peterson is a tough player, and he has done a lot without complaining, but at the end of the day, I am more concerned about Wolfe than Peterson, and want the entire position group to be improved. Granted, we may not get to the level Dallas is (Barber, Jones, and Choice when all 3 are healthy) or the Giants last year with Jacobs, Ward, and Bradshaw, but I would like to believe that when Forte is not in the game, we can still attempt to run the ball on something other than a draw with Wolfe.

Isaac Redman was someone I was watching, but he was elevated from Pittsburgh's practice squad when Willie Parker got knocked out...Is there anyone out there that is worth looking at? I haven't dug anyone else up. Suggestions from the gallery?

Jason McKie has carried the ball 29 times in six-plus seasons. What makes you think he is remotely capable of serving as a backup running back? Do you think they would really be comfortable with he and Wolfe carrying the ball should Forte go down early in a game?

The team doesn't need some developmental guy. They need someone who is ready to carry the ball now. Someone who can pick up the playbook during a two week period, then contribute immediately.

Forte is not 100 percent healthy. If AP can't go, they need someone else who can actually help the running game now.


I don't think McKie is capable, just projecting what I think the Bears will do rather than bring someone else in from the outside. McKie played tailback for us a few years back for a game or two when we had some injuries, so they have tried it before.

"The team doesn't need some developmental guy. They need someone who is ready to carry the ball now. Someone who can pick up the playbook during a two week period, then contribute immediately. "

Who do you recommend? Shaun Alexander? If these guys were capable of contributing immediately, they would have jobs already. You aren't going to find a solid running back on the street in October. All you are going to get are guys who are either over the hill, or haven't started climbing it yet.

I forgot we had Bell on the practice squad. I would be interested to see what they do if they are going to be without Peterson for any length of time. I personally don't like either Wolfe or Peterson as backup running backs. Both are decent special teamers, but neither is a suitable threat to the opposing defense.

Just because a guy is on the street doesn't mean they cannot contribute.

While I want no part of Marvin Harrison, for instance, you cannot tell me that he is worse than every receiver in the NFL.

These guys are on the street because they are average at this point in their careers, have no upside, would cost too much for vet minimums compared to younger players and can't play special teams.

The Bears, however, are in a unique situation in that they need a veteran now, to help maintain the position. They do not have ANY back right now capable of shouldering the load should their No. 1 go down.

IOW, they may have no choice but to find someone who can help carry the ball.

In terms of players, I had mentioned T.J. Duckett. He brings something different to the table -- size and a proven record as a short yardage guy -- but can handle a full regiment of carries.

He also should be in better shape than most, given he was a final cut by the Seahawks, and has worked out for at least one team.

The only issue is that he cannot play special teams (hence why he is probably still on the street -- people on this board love to discount special teams).

But if everyone else is healthy, you could slide someone like Tim Shaw or another DB into Peterson's spot on ST. Even now, you don't have much choice, so signing Duckett would be of little consequence.

The person you cut? Michael Gaines. If he is going to be inactive every week, there is not real need to keep him.

After Peterson comes back, you could deactivate Duckett. But he would be ready should something else happen.

Good time for a bye week! I think they'll all be ready to go aginst a pretty solid Atlanta team and the key there will be the pass rush.That was obviously also the key in last night's game.Even though pressured all night and sacked and hit repeatedly, Rogers almost pulled it out. One wonders how Favre would have fared if he had faced what Rogers did. I hope the pass rush is in high gear when the Bears play the Vikes.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on October 5, 2009 1:17 PM.

Source: Idonije to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery today was the previous entry in this blog.

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