TUESDAY, 5:08pm: The Bears have officially ended Young’s season, placing him on injured reserve, per the team (Twitter link). Defensive end Austen Lane, who spent the preseason with the club, has been signed to fill the newly-opened roster spot.
MONDAY, 12:01pm: Bears defensive end Willie Young didn’t arrive in Chicago with the fanfare of fellow free agent signings Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston, but the fifth-year pro has outshone his counterparts along the defensive line in 2014. He has ten sacks this season, the first of a three-year deal signed this past offseason.
Young seemed like a lock to be a star again in 2015, but an injury to his Achilles tendon could jeopardize at least the beginning of next year. It will certainly keep him out of the season finale this Sunday, reports Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun Times.
“It’s an injury that’s going to take some time,” head coach Marc Trestman said. “I don’t know many that aren’t [serious].”
The Achilles injury is a difficult one to come back from. Another pass rusher recently came back from a similar injury in incredible time, as Terrell Suggs returned in time for the team’s Super Bowl run only five months and six days after the injury.
Of course, that case is the exception, as nine months to twelve months is a more common timetable for return.
In addition to Young, kicker Robbie Gould has missed the last three games with a quadriceps injury, and will also not be back in time for the Week 17 matchup, reports Dan Weiderer of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). Gould made additional waves this morning when he went on the radio and criticized Trestman and the coaching staff’s decision to bench Jay Cutler, writes Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune.
“You could bench the whole team,” said Gould. “It’s not like anybody has really played fantastic or great. I mean, we’re 5-10 now. So … Jay is not the problem. Jay is not the issue. It’s just unfortunate. This is, honestly, it’s not the Bear way. I mean, this whole season is not the Bear way. Pointing fingers, things getting out of the locker room — that’s not the Chicago Bear way.”