Bears To Place Lance Briggs On IR

The Bears are placing long-time linebacker Lance Briggs on injured reserve with a groin injury, ending his season, reports Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter).

Briggs has spent 12 seasons in Chicago, making the Pro Bowl seven times in his career with the team. He is one of five Bears to start 170 games for the team, along with Walter Payton, Olin Kreutz, Brian Urlacher, and Mike Singletary, according to Brad Biggs (via Twitter).

Briggs was one of former coach Lovie Smith’s favorites, making a career as a weakside linebacker on some great 4-3 cover-two defenses. His performance since Smith was fired had declined precipitously, and the new regime had made an effort to move on from the team’s defensive stalwarts.

If Briggs decides to continue his career, he will likely have to find somewhere else to play other than Chicago. The Bears are unlikely to bring Briggs back next season, reports David Haugh (via Twitter).

One likely landing spot for Briggs if he pursues another team would be the Buccaneers, where he and Smith could reunite, writes Vaughn McClure of ESPN (via Twitter). If his level of play returns to what it was under Smith, he will add to a run defense highlighted by Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David.

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