We knew the Bears were going to use the bye week to try and heal up at wide receiver and linebacker, and now this: defensive lineman Israel Idonije is expected to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery today, a source close to the player said. Idonije has canceled a personal appearance.
Idonije has been on the injury report since the beginning of the season with a knee listed as his ailment, and he was questionable for Sunday's game against Detroit. He played and was credited with a forced fumble and a sack. Idonije was also involved on special teams, but didn't look as quick as usual. By doing the procedure today, there is a chance Idonije will return quickly. While it's unknown the exact reason they are working on his knee, it's not out of the question that he could be back on the field when the Bears play at Atlanta Oct. 18. The bye will certainly help.
Rookie defensive lineman Jarron Gilbert played for the first time against the Lions, and the Bears have added depth with tackle Matt Toeaina, who was inactive. So if Idonije is forced to miss a game or two, there will not be a scramble for bodies. Mark Anderson has been used inside in pass-rushing situations, and there are more than enough bodies to go around.
We'll see if Lovie Smith will shine some more light on the issue when he holds his press conference in about two hours. Check back for updates, and I'll be sending them out on Twitter also. Smith will also be able to provide updates on wide receivers Devin Hester and Johnny Knox, who were knocked out of Sunday's game. Hester had a shoulder injury, the team announced, but left Soldier Field wearing a neck brace. Knox had a shin injury. Neither are believed to be serious. Linebackers Pisa Tinoisamoa (right knee) and Hunter Hillenmeyer (rib) are expected to be available for the Falcons game.