Marc Trestman’s tone and expression said almost as much as his words on Friday as the Bears coach said that middle linebacker D.J. Williams could be out for the season with a pectoral-muscle injury suffered in the Giants game, and “those can be serious,” Trestman said.
The news was indeed as bad as Trestman and the Bears feared, as Williams is indeed out for the balance of the 2013 season with a torn left pectoral muscle. The loss thrusts rookie second-round pick Jonathan Bostic into the starting lineup beginning with the Oct. 20 game against Washington and Robert Griffin III.
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Bostic, who played in Williams’ place all through preseason when Williams was down with a calf injury, played the rest of the Giants game. Both players were on for 21 snaps in the game; Williams was credited with two solo tackles, Bostic with one assist.
Bostic’s only previous action was on special teams and “preseason is one thing but regular season is totally different,” he said.
“Lance [Briggs] always says, ‘if you’re going to make a mistake, make it at full speed,’ and I was trying to do that today,” Bostic said. “Obviously there’s a lot of things I can clean up on so I’ll try to make those adjustments and be ready.”
Williams left the field with 4 minutes remaining in the third quarter, in obvious pain and rubbing his rib and chest area. He was taken to the locker room by Bears medical staff and did not return.
He was on a one-year contract, making his prospects for 2014 in Chicago problematic, given the presence of Bostic. Williams started four of six games this season recording 35 tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble and two tackles for losses.
During his 10-year NFL career with Denver (2004-12) and Chicago (2013), Williams has started 119-of-133 games played, recording 921 tackles, 22.5 sacks, 15 forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and two interceptions.