Bears: another injury on the Oline
After starting the same five offensive linemen for all 16 games last season, the injuries continue to pile up for the Chicago Bears. Left tackle Jermon Bushrod has been ruled out for Sunday’s game versus the Panthers.
How the Bears handle the situation largely depends on the health of left guard Matt Slauson, who has been sidelined by a high ankle sprain since Week 1. Slauson was downgraded from probable to questionable on Friday afternoon, however. If he is able to return, it would allow the Bears to slide Michael Ola over as Bushrod’s replacement.
Ola has put forth some good performances on tape while starting in place of Slauson, but has also been inconsistent. He looked impressive against the Bills and Packers (+8.0 overall combined), yet struggled against the 49ers or Jets (-4.0 combined). Specifically in pass protection, Ola’s 97.4 Pass Blocking Efficiency ranks 18th out of 59 qualifying guards. The biggest question will be how he will handle moving out to tackle, where he said he had not practiced until this week.
If Slauson is unable to go Sunday, left tackle duties would likely fall to Eben Britton. Britton has played 273 snaps since the beginning of last season, but only 48 have come at tackle as he is typically used as a sixth offensive lineman in heavy formations.