Bears lose DT Collins to ACL tear

The SportsXchange

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Bears learned Monday they have lost their second 3-technique defensive tackle to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in three weeks when it was announced Nate Collins was through for the year as a result of the injury he suffered to his left leg Sunday.

Henry Melton was lost for the season in the win over Pittsburgh. Collins will have surgery in Florida and will need eight months to recover.

Coach Marc Trestman doubts there will be much chance to get a player off the street who can immediately help the team.

"The guys that have been here, are the guys that are generally going to have to play," he said.

The Bears did get lucky when they picked up Landon Cohen, who came from the same defensive system in Dallas and was able to play after practicing only on Friday two weeks ago. However, that's not likely to happen again. It's more than likely they'll have to use Corey Wootton more inside at tackle and shift Stephen Paea there if he's healthy.

It's possible Zach Minter could get playing time as a result of the latest injury.

"We're going to talk more about that this week," Trestman said. "We've been working hard to develop him. He's done some really good things, so that's certainly a point of discussion as we move into the next 24 hours certainly."

Coaches are concerned about defensive linemen getting too many snaps and wearing down as a result of the injuries at the 3-technique spot. Defensive end Julius Peppers was in on 88 percent of the snaps and Wootton 91 percent. Both figures are well above what they played over the course of last season.

Paea did not dress in Sunday's game as a result of a doctor's decision in pregame regarding his sore toe. Paea's status for Thursday's game will be updated later in the week. The injury is painful, although not serious. Paea was replaced by Cohen at the nose.

"It's a long season," Trestman said. "We want Stephen healthy. If he's not going to be healthy-he's got a chance to be. It'll be day to day until Thursday at 5 o'clock. He's got a chance to be.

"But we're not going to put a guy out there where he's just about ready to turn the corner, and then he goes backwards again for the sake of one game. We've got a long season to play."
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