By Dan Wiederer, Chicago Tribune
A day after absorbing a humiliating 51-23 road loss to the New England Patriots, the Chicago Bears’ troubles only compounded Monday with news surfacing that two starters had been lost for the season.
An MRI showed that defensive end Lamarr Houston ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss. Meanwhile, left guard Matt Slauson tore his right pectoral muscle in the second half.
General manager Phil Emery confirmed those injuries at his midseason news conference Monday at Halas Hall, another wave of bad news for a team that’s been ravaged by injuries this season.
Emery said Houston will undergo surgery on his knee once the swelling subsides with the veteran defensive lineman facing a recovery timetable of 6-8 months before he can get back on the field.
Slauson, meanwhile, won’t require surgery on his pectoral but will be out for 3-4 months.
Houston’s injury occurred with a little more than three minutes left Sunday at Gillette Stadium when he was celebrating a sack. That sack came with the Bears trailing 48-23 and rookie backup Jimmy Garoppolo in at quarterback for mop-up time for the Patriots.
Houston had yet to record a sack in his first seven games with the Bears after signing a five-year, $35 million contract in March with nearly $15 million guaranteed money included. Emery said the 27-year-old defensive lineman’s giddy reaction was a release of frustration that had built up through the season’s first two months.
“He let out all of his frustrations and ultimately paid a price for it,” Emery said. “We’re disappointed for him and in him.”
Unfortunately, Houston came across looking quite foolish with his season ending in such odd and untimely fashion.
Added Emery: “He knows he made an error. He’s come into all of our offices and apologized for his error. But ultimately the team paid a price. And at the end of the day Lamarr paid a bigger price. He lost the season.”
With Slauson also out for the year, Bears coach Marc Trestman said he and his coaching staff would consider moving Jordan Mills to left guard for the second half of the season. Mills had made 23 consecutive starts at right tackle before missing Sunday’s game with soreness in his right foot. Michael Ola started in Mills’ place against New England and could remain as the team’s starter at right tackle when they return from their off week to begin preparing for the Green Bay Packers in Week 10.