Key Bears Starter Sees Concerns Mount Over Severity of Injury

Robert Quinn back injury

Getty Pass rusher Robert Quinn of the Chicago Bears was limited in the team's first practice.

Robert Quinn was limited in the first practice of training camp by the same back issue that kept him from participating in veteran minicamp last month, according to Matt Nagy. The veteran pass rusher for the Chicago Bears had a rough first season with the team in 2020, and while the Bears head coach didn’t appear concerned about the injury, it has been around long enough now to raise some questions.

The concerning part may not be the injury itself so much as the invaluable time Quinn is missing:

The Bears inked Quinn to a five-year, $70 million deal with $30 million guaranteed last year.

In his lone season with the team, he had 2.0 sacks, 6 quarterback hits, 3 forced fumbles and no tackles for loss. He played on just 51% of the team’s defensive snaps in 2020, which isn’t much for what the Bears are paying him. Quinn was the sack leader for the Dallas Cowboys in 2019, netting 11.5 sacks, so expectations were high upon his arrival. Needless to say, they haven’t been met.

Nagy noted he expected Quinn to have a “healthy” camp, but if he misses much more time, he won’t het the “normal camp” the Bears coach also says he needs. It’s quite the dilemma.

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Several Key Bears Missing From Training Camp Practice

Nagy and the Bears like to take the precautionary approach with injuries, as they should, but something about this back injury with Quinn feels different. The veteran pass rusher really needed to get off to a solid start in training camp, and it looks like that’s not going to happen. Plus, this is the same issue that kept Quinn from taking part in the mandatory minicamp in June. If it’s not serious, why isn’t he getting acclimated to new defensive coordinator Sean Desai’s defense?

“Robert just has a little lower back that we’re just trying not to mess with too much,” Nagy said on June 15. “With where he’s at … probably more conservativeness with us with a lot of players in these camps, making sure we’re in a good place, especially when you don’t see a lot of these guys and this is the first time you’re seeing them for a while. He does have a little lower back. We’re probably more conservative on that than anything.”

Quinn wasn’t the only one limited or missing on the first day of training camp practice. Starting safety Eddie Jackson (hamstring), offensive lineman Germain Ifedi (hip flexor) and OL Teven Jenkins (back tightness) all sat out, while Quinn and defensive lineman Bilal Nichols (toe) were limited.

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Quinn Was Reported to Have Nerve Issue in His Foot Last Year

A nagging lower back issue isn’t the only cause for pause with Quinn. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reported last December that the veteran edge rusher may have been hampered by a nerve issue in his foot all of last season. Biggs wrote the following last year:

“One source said in early September that the two-time Pro Bowl performer had a nerve issue affecting a foot. Another source said Quinn told teammates he was battling drop foot, which is defined as difficulty in raising the front part of the foot and can be caused by a nerve issue. Obviously something has prevented Quinn from performing anywhere close to the level the Bears expected when they outbid others to land him. The Bears have offered zero explanations, but two unconnected sources mentioned the possible nerve issue.”

Nagy shot those rumors down immediately, but something has to be going on with Quinn, who missed the bulk of last year’s offseason preparations with the team, as well. With the preseason approaching August 14 for Chicago and a 17-game season on the docket shortly after that, the team is going to need him. Hopefully, he gets back up to full strength soon.

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