While the Bears won Sunday afternoon’s preseason tilt against the Tennessee Titans, it came at a major cost. Both wide receiver Cameron Meredith and long snapper Patrick Scales have reportedly torn their ACLs, which likely will see them miss the entire 2017 season.
On FOX’s broadcast of the game, sideline reporter Pam Oliver revealed at halftime that the Bears fear that Meredith, who was carted off earlier in the game after a hit by Titans safety Johnathan Cyprien, tore his ACL. Just by looking at the video (warning: gruesome), this fear seems warranted, as you can see his knee go in a direction which it is not supposed to go.
Doctor David J. Chao, an NFL team doctor for over 17 years who now runs the @ProFootballDoc twitter account, thinks Meredith did more than just tear his ACL. As he explains in an article, he thinks that Meredith tore his MCL as well, which could see him miss time to start next season as well.
This is, obviously, a huge loss for the Bears, who turned to Meredith last season after injuries to Kevin White and Eddie Royal. Meredith had 888 yards last season, while getting a ton of passes from Matt Barkley. Now, the Bears are left without a true number one wide receiver, as Kevin White is considered unproven at best.
Another loss for the Bears is long snapper Patrick Scales, who NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports will have an MRI today to confirm a torn ACL. Scales walked off in the first half, but did not return to the game as tackle Bradley Sowell took over the long snapping duties.
I wasn’t able to find a great video of Scales’s injury, so I don’t really know much more than Rapoport’s report. However, while he got the job done, you could notice a difference in between Scales’ and Sowell’s snaps.
If there’s one thing that the Bears have shown the NFL over the past 15 years or so, it’s the importance of the third phase. Patrick Mannelly, the long-time Bears long snapper, is really one of the best Bears ever, and was a big part in the success of Robbie Gould and Brad Maynard’s careers in the Windy City. I’m not sure Sowell is the guy for this job, and it will be interesting to see who does end up getting it.