The Chicago Bears lost one of their best defensive players in the win over the Los Angeles Rams Sunday night. It’s time for the next man up.
It was a costly victory over the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday night. The Chicago Bears saw slot cornerback Bryce Callahan leave the game with a foot injury, and he did not return.
Tuesday, it was reported that Callahan had suffered a broken bone in his foot.
This is a big blow for the Bears. Last season, Callahan broke out and finished as the best slot corner in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus. This season, he continued to play at an elite level.
Through 13 games, Callahan had registered five pass breakups, two interceptions and a defensive touchdown. He has been credited with 17 defensive stops, more than Kyle Fuller, Prince Amukamara and Adrian Amos.
Callahan has also been valuable in pressuring the quarterback on designed blitzes. He has a total of 13 pressures on the year, more than any other Bears defensive back.
One guy who isn’t too far behind, and has played a lot less than Callahan, is his impending replacement — Sherrick McManis.
Normally a special teams standout, McManis has gotten a few snaps here and there, this season. Now, until Callahan is able to return (if at all), McManis will be the go-to slot corner for the Bears. Over the years, he has been up and down in terms of overall performance.
There was a time, more recently, where I would have thought the Bears would be in trouble with McManis dropping into coverage. But, with the core of linebackers the Bears have employed now, McManis has a lot of reinforcements there at his disposal.
Plus, he has actually graded very well this season, again courtesy of our friends over at PFF. McManis has been given a season-long grade of 90.4. Granted, he has only played a total of 102 snaps, compared to 676 for Callahan.
But, despite the small sample size, McManis has performed well. On those limited snaps, McManis has seven quarterback pressures, including five hurries, a sack and a quarterback hit. He also has been credited with nine defensive stops, compared to Callahan’s 17.
Don’t look now, but McManis has actually been solid in coverage as well this season. This is his chance to prove it has been well-worth the Bears hanging onto him for the last few years. Is he more than just a special teams ace? We will find out soon enough.