The Bears have had a string of bad injury news this season, and on Thanksgiving it got worse. Star inside linebacker Roquan Smith left midway through the Lions game with a hamstring injury and didn’t return. On Friday, Nagy had no updates regarding the severity of the injury.
But if Smith misses any additional time, we won’t need an update from the head coach to understand the severity of the loss for the defense.
“I think everybody understands and knows how I feel about Roquan and the type of football player he is on Sunday,” Nagy said. “But I don't know if people truly understand who he is as a leader of this team. Not just the defense but the team in general.
“He's a big part of this thing. His true professionalism, the respect that he has from his teammates, from his coaches, it's rare. And he's only been getting better every year and this year is probably his best year.”
From a production standpoint, it’s easily Smith’s best year. He’s currently sitting at 113 tackles, and before the injury was on pace to shatter his career-high of 139 total tackles in one season. To give you an idea of how prolific Smith has been through only 12 games, Brian Urlacher’s best was 153 tackles in 2002. Briggs set a high mark of 134 tackles in 2006.
The Bears are already without Khalil Mack, who will miss the rest of the season after having foot surgery. Akiem Hicks has missed nearly five full games with various injuries too.