Bears LB D.J. Williams out for year
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The Bears will accelerate the ascension of rookie Jonathan Bostic on the heels of D.J. Williams' season-ending injury, writes Michael C. Wright. Blog
With Williams out for the season, the Bears have lost three starters to an already struggling front seven. In a span of 15 days, franchise defensive tackle Henry Melton and replacement Nate Collins suffered torn ACLs. The team played the game Thursday without starting cornerback Charles Tillman (groin and knee), and nose tackle Stephen Paea (turf toe).
"Bostic did well [replacing Williams]. He got in, got his nose in it and found out that some of the stuff that we see in practice and the preseason is a little bit different on the field," Briggs said. "But Bostic's gonna be big next week."
A 10th-year veteran, Williams signed as the replacement for future Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher but missed nearly all of training camp and the preseason due to a strained calf, which propelled Bostic into the starting lineup for an extended period before the start of the season. The increased repetitions gave Bostic plenty of experience, and the rookie turned heads with some of his performances in the preseason.
"I thought he was active [Thursday]. He was around the football," coach Marc Trestman said. "It's a next-man-up mentality. I think he's mentally ready to take on playing that position. The experience that he had will certainly help him down the road."
The Bears did receive one sliver of positive news on the injury front when they learned the back injury sustained by strong side linebacker James Anderson wasn't severe. It's likely he'll show up on the injury report heading into next Sunday's game against the Redskins, but he's not expected to miss time.
"I don't want anymore injuries," Briggs said. "Luckily, we have a little extended week before we play the Redskins. We have the opportunity for some guys to get healthy."