A lot of attention is going to be paid to Lamarr Houston and his “blowout” sack celebration from Sunday’s loss to the New England Patriots, but the Chicago Bears will be without another one of their big name players for the remainder of the year, as left guard Matt Slauson will miss the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle.
Slauson, who signed a lucrative contract extension in January, missed three games earlier in the season with a high ankle sprain he suffered against the Buffalo Bills. He returned for the Bears’ Week 5 loss to the Carolina Panthers, but this latest ailment will keep him out for at least three to four months.
What’s interesting about this injury is that the Bears aren’t just going to stick Michael Ola in at left guard to replace him. In fact, Marc Trestman said during his press conference on Monday that the team is considering putting Jordan Mills at left guard, which would mean that Ola would likely remain at the right tackle spot.
To be honest, that’s a fairly bold strategy, but one that might make plenty of sense. Mills’ mobility has been hampered by a foot injury that he’s been dealing with all season long, and putting him at guard would help take some of the strain off of him. It would also help him with his lackluster pass blocking as well, as he wouldn’t have to focus on going up against talented defensive ends.
Even with that being said, it’s still a tough blow to absorb for the Bears line to lose the guy who was arguably their best lineman last season. Slauson is a fierce competitor and does a nice job in both pass and run blocking, and Jermon Bushrod has really seemed to thrive when Slauson is lined up next to him. It’s going to be a tough adjustment, and one worth looking at moving forward.