CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 18: Johnny Knox #13 of the Chicago Bears is taken off the field on a cart after an injury during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field on December 18, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
After a relatively injury-free 2010, the 2011 Chicago Bears have kept medical personnel busy. Jay Cutler and Matt Forte's injuries have grabbed the most headlines, but plenty of others Bear injuries have made news this week.
Johnny Knox had surgery on a vertebrae that was fractured during Sunday's game. Monday's surgery was deemed a success, but Knox's recovery will take 3-4 months. Since that obviously means Knox will miss the last two games of the season, he was placed on injured reserved.
Joining him there is rookie safety Chris Conte. Late in Sunday's game, he went down with a foot injury. Like Knox, he is out for the rest of the season. After the Bears released Chris Harris and Brandon Merriweather didn't play as expected, Conte emerged as the Bears starting safety. He had 30 tackles and an interception in 11 games.
Offensive lineman Gabe Carimi was placed on injured reserve in November after injuring his knee early in the season. Rehab and surgery did not repair his knee as the Bears first-round draft pick had hoped, and he is facing another surgery that will take four months to rehab. If you're experiencing a case of deja vu, yes, Carimi did dislocate his knee like Marc Colombo, another first-round draft pick and Bears lineman. The difference is that Colombo's bigger problem was nerve damage. The Bears have not indicated Carimi suffers from the same thing. In fact, they knew Carimi had a problem with his knees before he was drafted, and that he would need maintenance over the course of his career.
The good news is that all three players are expected to be back in time for training camp. With most Bears fans' gaze firmly focused towards next season, that's a relief.