The Bears’ 2016 injury situation took another dire turn Sunday when linebacker and defensive co-captain Danny Trevathan went down in the closing minutes with what coach John Fox said is a ruptured patellar tendon in his right knee.
Trevathan, a primary Bears target in this year’s free agency, had to be helped off the field and was transported via cart under the stadium. The injury finishes a painful year for the inside linebacker who led the Super Bowl-winning Denver Broncos in tackles before signing a four-year contract worth $24.5 million, of which $12 million was guaranteed, on March 9.
“He's obviously a very talented player, one that we targeted and went after,” Fox said on Monday. “Unfortunately he did have that thumb injury that required surgery earlier in the season. He looked very good in all the offseason work, even in training camp.
“Unfortunately this happened to him, it was a semi-contact injury, kind of behind the ball, he planted wrong and the injury occurred. He'll fight back, he's been through it before. Had a similar injury a couple years ago that he worked through, and he'll do the same off of this one.”
[SHOP BEARS: Get your Bears gear right here]
Trevathan had what was reported as a dislocated left patellar tendon in 2014, which ended that season for him. That came after two separate fractures in the left knee area.
Depending on the outcome of surgery and the overall severity of this latest injury, Trevathan’s future might be uncertain. Former Bears wide receiver Wendell Davis ruptured his patellar tendons during a game on the notoriously dangerous artificial turf at Veterans Stadium in a 1993 game against the Eagles and took the next year off to rehab but was unable to play again.
This marks the second year in which the Bears have been struck with an injury to their No. 1 target in free agency. Last year it was linebacker Pernell McPhee, who was slowed and eventually sidelined by knee issues, required offseason surgery and did not return until the team's seventh game of this season.