Bears will have to do without Bryce Callahan as he heads to IR

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CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 11: Chicago Bears cornerback Bryce Callahan (37) celebrates after an interception in the 2nd quarter during an NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears on November 11, 2018, at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

LAKE FOREST – For the most part, unlike the past few years, the injury bug has stayed away from Halas Hall in 2018.

Khalil Mack and Allen Robinson lost two games each in the middle of the season due to nagging injuries, but they returned with no issues. Kyle Long went to IR about the same time, and while that is major, it hasn’t been common in Matt Nagy’s first year with the franchise.

But the injury bug finally bit someone else this week – and it’s a key contributor to the Bears’ defense.

Bryce Callahan, who has seen great success in the Bears’ nickel defense this season, is headed to injured reserve and will have surgery on his left foot. While Nagy wasn’t willing to say it directly, he did acknowledge that the cornerback is likely lost for the season.

“We’re appreciative of how hard he’s played for us all year,” said Nagy of Callahan. “It’s a tough deal for him.”

It is for the Bears’ defense as well, considering his strong contributions to the defense in the team’s nickel defense. In his fourth season with the team, he’s shown the ability to make plays both in the secondary and in the offensive backfield, netting two sacks along with a pair of interceptions six pass-breakups.

So now Vic Fangio will plug in Sherrick McManis into the lineup in Callahan’s place. The only holdover from both the Lovie Smith and Marc Trestman era of the team, McManis has 19 tackles on the season with an interception against the Cardinals in Week 3.

“Just doing my job, ‘next guy up’ mentality,” said McManis of replacing Callahan. “Bryce, I wish he didn’t get hurt, but that’s the game sometimes. So I’ll do my best I can, and go out there and have some fun.”

Just like Callahan did during a successful season that ends a little earlier than he or his team would have liked.

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