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SAN DIEGO -- The Bears injury list increased in Saturday’s preseason opener, but the severity of all the various ailments isn’t yet known.
Backup quarterback Caleb Hanie left the game in the third quarter, when he was sandwiched and driven into the turf on his right shoulder on a rollout play, causing him to fumble. Safeties Major Wright (finger) and Craig Steltz (right ankle) and linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer (foot) also suffered injuries, along with long snapper Patrick Mannelly, who dinged his shoulder, but returned quickly to finish the game.
Wright suggested that his injury isn’t serious, while the severity of Hanie, Steltz, and Hillenmeyer’s ailments remain in question.
Bears coach Love Smith said it’s too early for the club to start looking at alternative backup quarterback options to replace Hanie, who said after the game he wasn’t sure of how long he’d be out.
“We’re going to see exactly what his injury is,” Smith said. “We’re not to the point where we’ll put him on IR or anything like that yet. Slow down a bit.”
Smith also said that “hopefully, Craig [Steltz’s] injury isn’t too serious.”
The club has already experienced several injuries at the safety position, with starting strong safety Danieal Manning [hamstring] missing Saturday’s game, in addition to Wright and starting free safety Chris Harris missing time earlier in camp with groin and shoulder issues.