Chris Conte will miss training camp following shoulder surgery (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The Chicago Bears have been addressing needs all over the defensive side of the field this offseason, bringing in guys like Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, and Willie Young to bolster a group that struggled mightily a season ago.
One area that they've also had to focus on has been their group of safeties, which was the subject of an avalanche of criticism last year. Major Wright had a rough season and looks like he'll be headed out of town, but the other starting safety, Chris Conte, will remain with the team and was expected to compete for a starting job in training camp.
That plan may have hit a snag however, as the team announced on Thursday that the safety has undergone shoulder surgery, and will miss 4-5 months.
That timeline would put him out through at least the beginning of training camp, if not for a chunk of the preseason. While the team has not announced whether or not Conte will officially miss any games, it's safe to say that even if he is involved in the battle for a starting spot, he'll be doing so from behind as he will miss OTA's and a chunk of training camp.
The Bears could very well take this news as a sign that they'll need to address safety in the early stages of May's NFL Draft, and they could feasibly have their pick of the litter when the #14 pick rolls around in the first round.