Henry Melton down, but it's next man up for the Chicago Bears

Henry Melton down, but it's next man up for the Chicago Bears
Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton is taken to the locker room in the fourth quarter against the Steelers with what was later identified as an ACL tear. Now his season is over. — Brian Cassella, Chicago Tribune

And like that — *poof * — he’s gone.

Henry Melton, that is.

At least for one season.

But a season can be an eternity, and a knee injury ain’t no kind of fun. You could see the sad truth in Melton’s eyes Sunday night. Even before an x-ray, he knew.

His teammates did too, as they took to Twitter after the game to salute their fallen teammate even before the diagnosis.

On Monday, less than 24 hours after his injury, Melton had returned to positivity, tweeting:

And while it was nice to see Melton back in high spirits, it’s a bummer to consider his long road ahead, an example of the personal battle not witnessed by fans.

Melton’s injury is also an example of the mundane brutality the game inflicts upon its participants. It wasn’t a devastating blindside hit that leveled Melton, but rather just an unlucky twist of the knee on a play with little contact.

With that, his body crumbled to the ground, a terrible sight for Bears fans and Bears players. And if there’s an immediate silver lining here, it’s the support Melton got from both groups, especially his teammates — Briggs, Wright, Peppers, Paea, Wootton, James Anderson, Bowman, Costanzo, both Bennetts, and an applauding Eric Weems, who huddled around him and saw him safely to the cart.

They went back to football after that, as did the rest of us. Whether it’s cynical, pragmatic, or just the facts, the Bears have Henry Melton in their hearts but their eyes on the prize.

Jack M Silverstein runs Eye On Chi, a Chicago media blog on ChicagoNow. His sports writing and Bears coverage appears regularly in RedEye, and his work has also appeared in ChicagoSide, Time Out Chicago, and the Chicago Sun-Times. Say hey @readjack.

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Tags: Henry Melton

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