The Chicago Bears suffered a crippling blow earlier in the season when top DT Henry Melton suffered a season-ending ACL tear, and replacement Nate Collins has suffered the same fate. Melton is one of the Bears best players on defense, and his injury was a huge blow to the Bears. Not only that, but Melton also suffered the injury in a contract year. Now, the Bears official site Twitter states that head coach Marc Trestman “confirms” that Melton’s replacement Nate Collins will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.
Melton was a key pass rushing defensive tackle for the Bears and one of the best pass rushing DTs in the NFL in the 4-3 scheme. Meanwhile, Collins had 13 tackles and one sack so far this season in the best opportunity of his career following Melton’s injury, and he became a nice, every-down DT for the Bears. His average play in Melton’s stead shows that he is a quality backup DT for the Bears going forward, and he can also be a spot-starter if needed.
Sadly, Collins is also on a one-year deal, and his status in this league definitely isn’t entrenched like Melton. He’ll likely be back for the Bears next year, but let’s just hope that Collins can make a full recovery. If there is any hitch, then it could be difficult for him to find his footing. I highly doubt that happens, though, since he’s just 25.
Collins’s injury is a huge blow to the Chicago Bears already-thin depth at DT following Melton’s injury, and it will be interesting to see who is the next man up for the Bears following Collins’s ACL tear.