New Injuries Emerge for Bears’ Khalil Mack, Other Defensive Starter

Bears Khalil Mack injury update

Getty CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 06: Khalil Mack #52 of the Chicago Bears celebrates after sacking Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions during the first half at Soldier Field on December 06, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Khalil Mack has popped up on the Chicago Bears‘ injury report yet again Wednesday — for a completely different injury from the one that kept him out of practice last week.

Mack was questionable heading into the Bears’ Week 13 game against the Lions with a back injury, and now, a new injury has sidelined the All-Pro linebacker. The team released its injury report Wednesday, and Mack was listed among those who did not practice with a shoulder injury.

Veteran cornerback Buster Skrine also popped up on the report unexpectedly, and he did not practice due to being in the league’s concussion protocol. His status is in doubt for Sunday’s Week 14 contest against the Houston Texans.

Vets Jimmy Graham, Akiem Hicks and Danny Trevathan took their usual weekly non-injury rest days, while linebacker James Vaughters missed practice with the same injury that kept him out of last week’s game against the Lions, and rookie wide receiver Darnell Mooney did not practice due to an undisclosed personal issue.

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Matt Nagy on Khalil Mack’s Injury: ‘Day to Day’

When he spoke to the media Wednesday, Nagy addressed Mack’s shoulder injury right away, although he said he wasn’t sure exactly when the injury occurred.

“I think it was just in the game somewhere, when you watch that game he’s getting banged around a lot,” Nagy said, per Gene Chamberlain of Sports Illustrated. “I mean, he’s in a pretty interesting position where he’s got guys banging on him on every play. So I think it was just a little bit of some different times in the game where he got hit and then you get to a point where you want to make sure, especially right now at this part of the season where you want to take care of him. And we obviously need him and that’s why he’s day to day right now.”

Mack has popped up on the injury report several times this season, but he has yet to miss a game, and that will likely be the case again this week when Deshaun Watson and company come to town. Mack should play, but the fact that this is a new injury that just popped up is concerning, particularly considering he has been dealing with both ankle and back injuries already this year.

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Severity of Mack’s Injuries Should Determine His Status for Rest of Season

In his most recent Q&A column, the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs was asked whether he thought the Bears should rest Mack for the rest of the season in order to get him into top form for 2021– and this was before news of his most recent injury broke. Biggs took the logical route and I agree — the Bears are paying Mack a great deal of money, and if he’s healthy enough to play, he should absolutely be on the field.

But if his ailments continue to accumulate and/or become more serious, the Bears should absolutely consider keeping him off the field in order to avoid risking further, more serious injury, particularly if they keep losing.

Mack had a bit of a down season statistically last year, and it was rumored he had been playing through several injuries despite staying off the injury report all year. He has 6.5 sacks through 12 games so far this season.

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