This sucks more than I can put into words:
Two defensive starters lost for season
By Larry Mayer
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The Bears lost far more than a football game Sunday in San Diego.
Safety Mike Brown and defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek both will miss the remainder of the season after suffering torn ACLs in Chicago’s season-opening defeat to the Chargers.
Brown, who has been plagued by injuries each of the past four seasons after not missing a game his first four years in the NFL, was hurt on a fourth-quarter blitz when he was hogtied by Chargers fullback Lorenzo Neal in the backfield.
Just three plays later, Dvoracek sustained a similar injury while blocking on Devin Hester’s 29-yard kickoff return following LaDainian Tomlinson’s 7-yard TD run. Dvoracek was playing in his first NFL game after missing his entire rookie season with a foot injury.
Brown and Dvoracek were carted to the locker room together, leaving a Bears defense that performed exceptionally well against the high-powered Chargers minus two key starters.
With his knee wrapped, Brown broke down while answering questions from reporters in the locker room following Sunday’s game.
“It’s another sad day in the chapter of my football playing career it looks like,” said Brown, who holds the Bears’ all-time record with seven defensive touchdowns. “I don’t know what else to tell you guys. It’s a shame. It hurts my feelings really bad. It’s just life though.”
After playing in all 64 games during his first four seasons, Brown missed the final 14 contests in 2004 with a torn Achilles’ tendon, the last four regular-season games in 2005 with a calf injury and the final 10 contests last season with a torn ligament in his foot.
“Mike has gone through a lot,” coach Lovie Smith said Monday. “He’s our team leader, a great guy, a competitor. We all feel for him. Freak accidents happen, but it just seems like they’ve happened to Mike more than they should.
“If I continue to talk about it, I could get emotional just knowing what Mike Brown has gone through to get himself back in position to play. But injuries are part of it. You have to move on.”
Brown and Dvoracek will be replaced by second-year pro Danieal Manning and veteran Darwin Walker, respectively.
Manning started 14 regular-season games and all three post-season contests at free safety last year as a rookie after arriving as the Bears’ top pick in the draft.
“If there was an area that was fairly strong on our football team, we would say that it was the safety position,” Smith said. “We traded Chris Harris [during training camp]. By doing that we were saying that we had a lot of depth there.”
Walker, who was acquired in a July 29 trade with the Buffalo Bills, appeared in 87 games with 75 starts the past six seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, recording 264 tackles and 27½ sacks.
With Brown and Dvoracek out, rookie safety Kevin Payne and veteran defensive tackle Anthony Adams—both of whom were inactive Sunday—are also expected to see action.
Leaving. I won't be back. I believe all my business is taken care of so this will be the last time I login with this account.