Monday, October 5, 2009
Bears' Idonije undergoes procedure
By Jeff Dickerson
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears announced that defensive lineman Israel Idonije underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Monday. The team said Idonije was suffering from irritation.
"Israel Idonije had a scope this morning, clean up a little bit in one of his knees," Bears head coach Lovie Smith said. "Should be good to go. Nothing major, minor procedure that we had scheduled. He should be all right."
Smith isn't sure if Idonije will be ready for the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 18 after the Bears' bye week.
"It's unknown, but we feel pretty good about him coming back quickly, soon, all of those," Smith said. "Pretty tough guy, he'll be back out there before long."
Smith also is optimistic about the status of receiver Devin Hester, who left Sunday's win over the Detroit Lions with an injury to the shoulder area.
"Should be fine," Smith said. "Am I expecting Devin [to play in Atlanta]? Right now, two weeks away, am I expecting? Yeah, I'm expecting all of the guys to play right now. We're not ruling anybody out. I'm pretty excited about having all our guys ready to go next time we play."
Smith confirmed running back Adrian Peterson suffered a knee sprain, and he said receiver Johnny Knox's shin injury isn't serious.
"[Peterson] should be OK, [but] we'll evaluate and don't know the extent of his injury still," he said. "Johnny Knox will be fine. He had a shin injury."
Smith also said he's hopeful linebackers Hunter Hillenmeyer and Pisa Tinoisamoa will be ready for the next game.
"We have a lot of guys banged up," defensive tackle Tommie Harris said. "A lot of things didn't happen the way we wanted them to happen, with all the injuries."
Harris had just come up with his first career interception by picking off a pressured Matthew Stafford deep in Lions territory when Hester was injured.
On second down at the 4 with about 12 minutes left in the first half, Hester caught a short pass from Jay Cutler and tried to juke the Lions' Louis Delmas and William James. He got crunched instead and left the game, though he showed no obvious signs of injury when he got up.
By the time Hester left the game, the Bears had already lost Peterson, who was to undergo more tests on his knee. Knox followed them to the trainers room in the second half after starting the third quarter with a 102-yard return for a touchdown, the second longest on a kickoff in franchise history.
As for Idonije, he had been listed on the injury report with a knee problem the past few weeks and was questionable for the Lions game. He wound up producing a sack and forcing a fumble.
Losing the versatile Idonije would be a blow. As Harris put it, "He can do everything -- special teams, defensive line. He can do so much for the defense. He means so much for the team."
Yet, the wins are starting to pile up even though players are falling.
Despite the injuries and giving up 21 points and 273 yards in the first half to Detroit, there were some positive developments for the Bears on Sunday. There was Knox setting the tone in the second half with that return and the defense simply going into lockdown mode, shutting down the Lions the rest of the way.
Matt Forte had his breakout game, running for 121 yards, and Chicago had 277 yards running back punts and kickoffs, with Danieal Manning, Earl Bennett and Hester each contributing returns of 24 yards or more. Robbie Gould hit both field goals, including a 52-yarder, and Brad Maynard pinned the Lions inside the 20 on all four of his punts.
"We're in a pretty good situation here going into the bye," tight end Greg Olsen said. "We've got a lot of work ahead of us. We've got 12 weeks now in a row, so we have to come back from the bye rested, healed up and get ready for a long stretch."
Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.