Chicago Bears’ LB Lance Briggs out four to six weeks

Chicago Bears’ LB Lance Briggs out four to six weeks
Brian Cassella, Chicago Tribune

Chicago Bears’ starting weakside linebacker Lance Briggs will miss four to six weeks of the season with a shoulder injury, according to multiple reports. Pro Football Talk had the news first. The injury will not require surgery, and Briggs is expected to return this year.

Throughout his 11-year career, Briggs has never missed more than two games in a single season. Having notched 64 tackles so far through seven games, he was the Bears’ top tackler and had been the signal-caller on the defensive side of the ball.

For a defense already decimated by injury, having lost multiple starters along the defensive line and more recently LB D.J. Williams among the linebacking corps, the loss of the long-time leader will not be an easy one to overcome, as witnessed when Briggs came out in Sunday’s contest against the Redskins.

Overall, the Bears have taken a huge step backward on defense this season since firing former head coach Lovie Smith, having thus far allowed 206 points, which puts them on pace to allow 471. That figure would be a franchise record, having previously allowed 421 points in 1997 under head coach Dave Wannstedt.

According to Pro Football Focus, the Bears’ defense ranks as the league’s worst in stopping the run, the third worst in rushing the passer and the second worst overall.

As the team now awaits word on the severity of quarterback Jay Cutler’s groin injury (UPDATE), this feels a little like it could be the jab that comes just before the knockout punch.

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