The Chicago Bears defense continued to be decimated with injuries after the team’s victory against the New York Giants on Thursday. Reports on Friday confirmed that Chicago Bears’ starting middle linebacker D.J. Williams will miss the remainder of the season with a ruptured pectoral muscle tendon.
The Bears will now turn to first-year player Jonathan Bostic to man the middle of their defense.
This was something that Bostic prepared for in training camp. During the first week of training camp, Williams suffered an injury that forced the veteran linebacker to miss the entire pre-season. In that time, Bostic was practicing and playing with the team’s first-team defensive unit.
When the season began and Williams was healthy to return, there was a debate over who would be the starting middle linebacker for the Bears to begin the season. The Bears opted to go with Williams as the coaching staff felt that Bostic struggled in various parts of his pre-season playing time.
The decision paid off for the Bears as Williams collected 27 tackles on the season and 2 sacks before leaving the game against the Giants with the season-ending injury. Bostic replaced Williams in the game against the Giants and veteran Bears’ linebacker Lance Briggs was complimentary of the rookie.
“Bostic did well [replacing Williams]. He got in, got his nose in it and found out that some of the stuff that we see in practice and the preseason is a little bit different on the field,” Briggs said. “But Bostic’s gonna be big next week.”-Lance Briggs, ESPN Chicago
This was the moment that Bostic and the Bears were waiting for. When the Bears drafted Bostic in the second-round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the expectation was that former Florida Gator would be the future starting middle linebacker for the Bears. No one could have anticipated that the future would have come this early but that is life in the NFL.
Expect the Bears to either succeed or fail with Bostic. The team is not going to scour the free agent market or the trade market looking for a middle linebacker. If anything, the team may add a linebacker to the roster–but it will not be with the expectation of making an impact. For the Bears, Bostic now holds the keys to the defense.