Former first-round draft pick Shea McClellin broke out in a big way for the Chicago Bears last week. Against the Green Bay Packers on Monday night, McClellin picked up three sacks, which equaled his career total to that point.
It was a performance that had a lot of folks excited, as it showed the impact McClellin can have when he’s able to pressure the quarterback.
“After Monday night’s game, I think there’s a little more light on the top now and a little more self-confidence,” Marc Trestman said on Wednesday. “We all believe in Shea and we’ve shown Shea that he’ll bring out more of that in himself as well as he matures. It was a great sign for Shea and a great sign for our football team.”
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear as if McClellin will be able to build on that performance this weekend. He tweaked his hamstring in yesterday’s practice and is doubtful for Sunday’s contest against the Detroit Lions.
“Shea tweaked a ham, got a little pull in his ham,” Trestman said today. “I would say he’s doubtful for the game. It happened yesterday, accidentally in a drill, and we’ll see how he is tomorrow, but I would say right now he’s doubtful.”
This is bad news for a Bears defense already dealing with numerous injuries.
“I feel bad for him if he doesn’t play because he really had a god game last week, we all know that,” said Trestman. “He was moving in the right direction, so I’m certainly disappointed for him. But we’ve said it all year: we’ve got to find a way to do it with the guys that we have.”
Season-ending knee injuries to Henry Melton and Nate Collins have forced Corey Wootton to slide inside, so Chicago now turns to David Bass, a seventh-round rookie of the Oakland Raiders whom the Bears signed just before the start of the season, to fill McClellin’s shoes.
“[Bass] has athletic ability,” Trestman said. “He’s strong up front, he can move around and [defensive line coach] Mike [Phair] is working hard to continue to develop him. We think he’s got some upside and he’s certainly going to get an opportunity to play if this thing goes as we think it will.”
Trestman also said that Cheta Ozougwu, currently on the team’s practice squad, will likely be elevated to the active roster. To do that though, the club will have to waive a player, so McClellin’s injury appears significant.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his third season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.