Chicago Sun-Times

Hunter Hillenmeyer placed on injured reserve

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The Bears revealed that linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer suffered a concussion in the third preseason game, and they placed him on the injured reserve Tuesday.

Hillenmeyer missed the preseason finale but passed all the medical tests before the regular season, the team said.

But, he was removed from the season opener against the Detroit Lions at halftime after becoming ill.

Hunter.jpg

Bears coach Lovie Smith didn't elaborate about Hillenmeyer's status, except to say he was ill on Sunday and Monday, and that the team was still evaluating him.

It's a big loss for the Bears since Hillenmeyer was a valuable backup, including last season at middle linebacker. Last season, Hillenmeyer posted a career-high 105 tackles.

"Player health and safety has and always will be a priority with our organization," Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said in a statement. "Unlike other injuries, there is no defined timetable for a concussion.

"After consulting with our doctors and Hunter, this was the best way to proceed. We will miss his contributions this year, but it is the right decision given Hunter's circumstances."

Hillenmeyer said he had "mixed emotions."

"I respect the decision of Jerry and Lovie to place me on injured reserve. Concussions by nature are harder to evaluate than other injuries," he said. "While this is probably in my best interest and the team's, it is hard to accept the fact that my season is over in one game.

"As someone who has been in the forefront of player advocacy of concussion awareness, I'm happy to see my team err on the side of caution. But when it is my season that is cut short, it makes the complexity of the issues really hit home."

Adding to the intrigue: Hillenmeyer is one of more than a dozen players who has agreed to donate his brain to a research group determined to studying the effects of head trauma to professional athletes.

Tim Shaw, the team's special teams ace, was released by the Bears and then claimed by the Tennessee Titans. But one candidate is Kevin Malast, who was with the Bears during the offseason and training camp.

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7 Comments

I hope and pray for the best for Hunter. He is a team player and maybe not a Pro bowler but I would take him on my team anytime. See you next year.

This is but a speedbump in the path of life. For those who are disgruntled, let's keep this in perspective. It's a game. Who in their right mind would ever jeopardize their melon for a few bucks and headlines? Best wishes.

Hopefully it's nothing serious and he gets and stays healthy soon.

Sean or Neil, any good prospects the Bears could steal from someone's practice squad?

Malast ? That's the best you can do ??? Tommie Harris runs faster then him !

Does the team classifying this as an "illness" get around the NFL rules that require an independent physician to clear Hunter before he played? What I'm wondering is did an independent physician clear Hunter to play in the Detroit game. If not the Bears have some explaining to do. Were they skirting the rules regarding concussions by calling it an "illness" so it was easier for him to come back for Detroit.

Get well Hunter. You are a real pro and will be sorely missed.

Hillenmeyer is a very good backup middle linebacker and cannot be replaced. Urlacher had better not get injured this season.

With his family's successful business in Nashville, and the fact that he actually has a college degree worth something, I would wager a guess this is the last we'll see of HH in a Bears uniform. Too bad, there are so few Caucasian-Americans in the NFL for kids to look up to these days.

On a related note, the Bears organization (and I use that term generously) sure seems to do its share of fudging when it comes to injury reports. Better not do too much of that or the boys in Vegas will send someone to the windy city to rearrange a few kneecaps.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on September 14, 2010 6:23 PM.

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