Add one more injured defensive back to the Chicago Bears' continually growing list.
Rookie cornerback Zackary Bowman, who scored a touchdown and had a game-clinching interception in his NFL debut last Sunday, will miss the rest of the season because of an injury to his right biceps. The Bears are hoping to get most of their other injured players back after this bye week, but they won't have the services of a rookie who made the leap from practice squad player to end-game hero Sunday.
According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times, the injury occurred sometime between Bowman's second-quarter recovery of a muffed punt and his fourth-quarter interception of Minnesota quarterback Gus Frerotte. Coach Lovie Smith said Bowman was "definitely playing with pain" on that final play and added:
"But that said a lot for him in his first game. He'll never forget that."
With any luck, the Bears will have cornerbacks Charles Tillman (shoulder) and Nate Vasher (wrist) back after the bye. Nickel back Danieal Manning (hamstring) could also return. Vasher likely will split time with Corey Graham, who has been starting in his place.
Continuing our morning look around the NFC North as the divisional bye approaches:
- Vasher spent Saturday night in a Chicago-area hospital when his wrist and hand swelled, according to David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune. Vasher was released Sunday when officials determined he was not at risk for a serious infection.
- Given his own team's long medical list, Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy cancelled a bye week practice and won't have his team back on the field until next Monday. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel lays out the schedule.
- Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette examines the fumbling habits of tailback Ryan Grant. McCarthy's assessment was blunt: "It needs to stop."
- Minnesota safety Madieu Williams, who missed the first seven games of the season because of a neck injury, said he expects to resume playing after the bye. Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press explains Williams' situation.
- Some fans in Minnesota have blamed punter Chris Kluwe's fumbled snap Sunday on coach Brad Childress, who called Kluwe out publicly three weeks ago for his performance. Patrick Reusse of the Star Tribune reacts thusly: "If you're embracing this theory -- that Childress should be held accountable for a fourth-year NFL punter dropping a snap -- then you have serious emotional issues and should avoid watching future sports events."
- Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com suggests that Detroit coaches stop looking for tweaks and changes that could make a difference in games. It's too hopeless now. "While everyone in the organization seems to be searching for the answer, the troubling trend that has developed makes it pretty clear what the problem is: The Lions can't compete."
- Mike O'Hara of the Detroit News wonders if the Lions will be able to sell out Sunday's home game against Washington.