The hits keep coming for the Bears.
Already riddled with injuries on both sides of the ball, they will reportedly place cornerback Kyle Fuller on injured reserve, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. Fuller will be able to return to the Bears in eight weeks.
#Bears CB Kyle Fuller is going to Injured Reserve, source said. A candidate to return to that D in 8 weeks. But tough one now.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 27, 2016
Fuller has been dealing with knee soreness since the offseason and through training camp. The Bears shut him down in mid-August, leaving him behind on the team's trip to New England for a pair of joint practices and exhibition game.
Three days after that news surfaced, Fuller had athroscopic knee surgery. There was no timetable given for Fuller's recovery.
Fuller was expected to start this year opposite Tracy Porter. Rookies Deiondre Hall, Deon Bush and DeAndre Houston-Carson have seen expanded roles in Fuller's absence.
Through three weeks the winless Bears rank 10th in pass defense, allowing 214 yards per game. But they've only recorded one interception and allowed four touchdowns, giving opponents a passer rating of 97.5, which is 10th worst in the NFL.
On Sunday the Bears face the Lions and quarterback Matthew Stafford, who ranks third in the NFL in passing yards, second in touchdowns and sixth in quarterback rating.
Patrick Kane’s break from the ice lasted less than a week, his time in Toronto serving as a good preseason primer, of sorts.
And with the season about two weeks away, Kane said he’s about where he needs to be.
Kane and Michal Kempny joined the Blackhawks on Tuesday, two of several players beginning to trickle in from their World Cup of Hockey stints. For Kane, the World Cup didn’t go nearly as long as expected – Team USA was ousted in the preliminary round. But now, the focus is on honing things before the season begins.
“I feel pretty good,” Kane said following the second group’s practice on Tuesday. “I feel like everything’s starting to come around right now for sure. I guess, starting to feel kind of like myself again on the ice, so to speak. It’s good to be back in the locker room here with all the guys and back in a Blackhawks uniform, too. It’s always fun coming back. Feels like home, for sure.”
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
Kane will not play Wednesday, when the Blackhawks face the Pittsburgh Penguins in their preseason opener. How many preseason games he does get is uncertain; but considering Kane’s time in World Cup of Hockey, the Blackhawks aren’t concerned with him getting rusty.
“He’s going to probably want to do it sooner than later, but I think we can be patient because he’s already been playing games,” assistant coach Mike Kitchen said. “Usually the veteran players when you come into a normal camp, they want to play maybe two or three games to just get their timing. For him, he’s already played quite a few games. There’s no reason to get him in right away, so we’ll just kind of bring him along, especially this early into camp.”
Team USA had a dismal showing at World Cup of Hockey, losing all three games in the preliminary round. But Kane said he’s put that behind him.
“It was a situation, looking back on it now, where we lost to a good team in Europe – they’re in the championship now – and I think at that point there’s a lot of noise from the outside that maybe crept in to our locker room a little bit. We needed to beat Canada. You could say they probably outplayed us but we had chances I that game to keep ourselves in it and ended up losing that one and we were out. But you’re playing in the World Cup of Hockey, you’re playing for your country, it’s always an honor to play for the United States. I’ll always remember playing for my country and always want to do it if you get the opportunity.”
- Duncan Keith skated with the second group on Tuesday. The Blackhawks will continue to monitor him. “He’ll probably want to get maybe a couple of [preseason] games just for his timing, especially for a defenseman, too. Just so he’ll able to get his gap control and things like that. I imagine he’ll want to try and get some games, but we’ll just see how his knee’s come along and how he responds,” Kitchen said. “We don’t want to put him in a situation before we have to because it only is preseason. We’ll just have to monitor that.”
- Scott Darling is scheduled to play the entire game vs. the Penguins tomorrow.