This Sunday, some dude I had never heard of had a really, really good game for the Bears. His name, I came to learn, was Zack Bowman.
This mystery man was playing in his first NFL game ever. Despite that, he managed to recover a muffed punt for a touchdown -- one of the Bears' ever-important special teams touchdowns -- and intercepted a ball in the fourth quarter to preserve the 48-41 win over the Vikings. It was an auspicious start for Zack Bowman. A great first game.
Unfortunately, it might be his last this season. Turns out that Bowman suffered a biceps injury early in the fourth quarter. According to the Bears, he now requires surgery. Bowman was actually injured before his interception. He was ruled out of the game by the Bears' doctors but decided to go back in anyway, which was probably not the best idea in the world, but one that probably deserves some sort of accolades:
“I had to come back in,” said Bowman, who was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster last Tuesday. “I had to help the team out any way I could, so that’s what I did.”
Who is Zack Bowman? He's from Anchorage, Alaska; he played JUCO football at the New Mexico Military Institute; he finished his collegiate career at Nebraska; and he was drafted in the fifth round of this year's draft by the Chicago Bears. Injuries in the Bears' occasionally vaunted secondary allowed Johnson to break into the lineup for the first time.
He's also, at least to me, a minor Bears cult figure. If this season ends up being remotely successful -- or, maybe, even if it doesn't -- I'll always remember Bowman's brief contribution.