Chicago Bears veteran pass rusher Khalil Mack has been in decent form for the franchise this season. Mack has started seven games and has ammassed six sacks, 19 tackles and one fumble recovery. But his season ended on Friday.
The Bears are currently third in their division behind the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings (just one game behind) as they look ahead to their clash with the Baltimore Ravens in Week 11.
Coming off a heartbreaking loss to Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers last time out, quarterback Justin Fields looks like he is finally starting to find his feet in the league after a shaky start to his NFL career.
How long is Khalil Mack out for?
News broke Friday morning from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that Mack was placed on the Bears injured reserve after having surgery on his foot. This effectively ends his season at the halfway point.
Mack had missed the Bears’ last two games because of a foot injury and the team did seem to cope well in his absence, however a player of his caliber is always going to be missed.
With the eight-year veteran now out for the year, the responsibility to get to the quarterback rests on Robert Quinn, who has 6.5 sacks on the year, and Trevor Gipson.
Mack, a six-time Pro Bowler, hurt his foot back in Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns and has not played a snap since the loss to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 7.
With the Bears already having Danny Trevathan on the injured reserve list and now Mack, too, there is some serious defensive firepower and production missing from Matt Nagy’s defense for the remainder of the year.
The Bears’ chances of making the playoffs are looking rather slim as they sit with a 3-6 record but they do have some favorable games remaining on their schedule with the Lions, Giants and the Vikings twice, the Bears could have a few more victories in the run-in if Justin Fields continues his improvement over the last couple of games.
Ultimately, not having a superstar like Khalil Mack is going to put serious pressure on a Chicago Bears defense that has given up 30 or more points only three times this season.
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Their last two games without Mack have seen Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers (33 points) and Roethlisberger and the Steelers (29 points) get after them. It is shaping as a tough go for Matt Nagy to get the team playing good football without his star man in Mack.