Chris Conte likely will not be a starting safety for the Chicago Bears when they open their 2014 regular season.
Conte is set to be sidelined for the next 4-5 months after undergoing surgery. ESPN Chicago reports that Conte underwent shoulder surgery to repair his Shoulder on March 26. The report cites a source in saying that the surgery was “long overdue”. Conte injured the shoulder during the 2013 season and opted to play through the pain. While that certainly is no excuse, that may explain the poor play from Conte last season.
Conte struggled as a safety with the Bears last season. While Conte was among the team-leaders in tackles with 90 tackles on the season, the safety often struggled in coverage and was often out of place when it came to containing running backs.
Conte is looking forward to being 100% and believes that will propel him to a bounce back season in 2014.
“I know I’m going to have to compete for my position on this team,” Conte told the team’s official website. “I am prepared to do that and felt having this surgery was the best way to be 100 percent healthy and be the best player I can possibly be.-Chris Conte, ESPN Chicago
Conte certainly will have to compete for a starting spot in 2014. The Bears have already brought in safeties M.D. Jennings and Ryan Mundy this season and are expected to draft a safety within the early rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Conte believes, though, that the added competition will be a positive experience for him.
“Whenever you don’t have a good season you do some soul-searching. You find the reasons why you love the game. Competition is a big part of why I love playing football. I knew they would be bringing in players to compete. It doesn’t bother me one bit. It will only make me better.”-Conte, ESPN Chicago
The soul-searching Conte will be seeking some redemption in 2014 in what could be a make or break season for the Bears safety.