Bears without Lance Briggs (shoulder fracture) for 4-6 weeks
Briggs was injured in the same game that also resulted in starting quarterback Jay Cutler groin injury, which will keep him sidelined for at least four weeks. More specifically, Briggs sustained the injury on a routine 1-yard run by Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III after rookie Jon Bostic made the stop with 5:57 remaining in the third quarter of Sunday’s game. The 11-year veteran was trying to twist and extend away from Logan Paulsen's block when it occurred.
These are significant blows on both sides of the ball for the Chicago Bears who are a half-game out of first place in the NFC North and will travel to face their divisional rivals the Green Bay Packers (4-2) immediately after the Week 8 bye. The Bears will then host another NFC north rival, the Detroit Lions, in Week 10. But with the injuries mounting, the Bears’ season could be very well slipping away.
"They're significant. But the positive thing is that they're not out for the season,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said of the injuries to their two team leaders. “They're not done. They're going to be back. And this team has an obligation with the next-man-up philosophy of coming together. And there are a lot of reasons to be excited about coming back here next week."
"We're losing a great leader in Lance," continued Trestman. "That's going to be tough to overcome, but we have to be confident that we can overcome it."
The 32-year-old Briggs was in the midst of another strong campaign, leading the team with 64 tackles and registering two sacks, two forced fumbles as well as eight passes defensed over seven games. Briggs performed well against the Redskins before leaving the game, and amassed eight tackles as well as two pass break-ups during his time on the field Sunday. In Briggs’ absence, the Redskins gained 234 yards and scored three touchdowns on teams’ final four drives.
"Obviously we miss Lance as a playmaker, his experience. He's a guy who's played here at a high level for a long time,” Bostic said. “We could have used him."
The Bears have already lost three defensive linemen for the season – including most recently D.J. Williams due to ruptured left pectoral muscle tendon – and Briggs’ injury further depletes a linebacking corps long-time leaders (Brian Urlacher and Nick Roach) this offseason. Bostic made his first career start on Sunday. Now, the Bears will be looking for a combination of him as well as Khaseem Greene (who also played in Sunday’s game) alongside veteran James Anderson to see additional snaps at one of the linebacker spots until Briggs returns.
The Bears have not placed the seven-time Pro Bowler Briggs on the injured reserve with the designation to return.
"We felt that would be putting us in a box in regards to Lance's recovery time," Bears general manager Phil Emery said. "We are not going to do that."