The Chicago Bears have been dealing with a ton of injuries over the past few weeks, and they got more bad news on Friday afternoon as it was announced that linebacker Lance Briggs was placed on the injured reserve list with a groin injury, ending his 2014 season.
Briggs, who has played all 12 of his NFL season with the Bears, will be a free agent at the end of the year, so this could very well mean that he's reached the end of the line with the team. He has been harshly critical of the organization at times during his career, demanding a trade on several occasions and holding out of team activities in an effort to get a contract extension.
If this is Briggs' last act with the Bears, his career would have to be considered a successful one. He has reached the Pro Bowl seven times in his career, and he has started 170 games for the Bears, good for the fifth most in franchise history. He formed a fruitful partnership with Brian Urlacher, who retired after the 2012 season.
If Briggs wants to continue playing in the NFL, it wouldn't be a stretch to see him find a job elsewhere. Plenty of teams with more cap space could want a veteran eager to prove he still belongs, and teams like Tampa Bay (where he could reunite with former coach Lovie Smith) could prove to be good landing spots.