Bears’ already-thin EDGE corps loses Leonard Floyd to hand injury
Bears top EDGE rusher Leonard Floyd has been ruled out for the remainder of Saturday’s game against the Broncos with a hand injury, the team confirmed.
A low block by Broncos LT Garett Bolles sent Floyd airborn late in the first quarter before Floyd appeared to break his fall by using his left hand. He briefly departed for the locker room but returned with his left pointer finger taped, according to KDVR’s Sean Towle.
Floyd, the ninth overall pick in the 2016 draft, has been limited by injuries to only 22 combined games the past two seasons. He suffered a season-ending knee injury that required surgery last November and had been brought along slowly by the Bears in camp. Floyd’s rookie season got off to a rocky start when he suffered a hamstring injury early in camp that lingered into the season, which ended early following a concussion that took Floyd several months into his second full offseason to recover from.
But Floyd, like Adam Shaheen, who was also ruled out Saturday after he suffered an ankle injury, had a strong game in Cincinnati a week ago and was starting to assert his dominance on the practice field.
However, unlike Shaheen, Floyd is the leader of one of the Bears’ thinnest positions, where the Bears parted ways with veterans Willie Young, Lamarr Houston and Pernell McPhee this offseason and acquired only Aaron Lynch, who hasn’t practiced since a hamstring injury sustained on the first day of camp, and Kylie Fitts, their sixth-round draft choice out of Utah.
In Young, Houston, McPhee, Mitch Unrein and Christian Jones, a Bears defense that ranked sixth in the NFL in sack percentage last season lost nearly 35 percent of that production this offseason.
Floyd, then, is arguably the most important player on the Bears not named Mitch Trubisky this season. And seeing him leave Saturday night, just as he was finding his footing and the Bears secondary was showing signs of finally being the playmaking group they’ve lacked for years, is another troubling sight.