Chris Conte out 4-5 months

Bears safety Chris Conte had surgery in late March and will be sidelined four to five months.

The Chicago Bears announced on the team's Web site today that Chris Conte had shoulder surgery in late March and will be sidelined for four to five months.

Conte originally dislocated his shoulder during a preseason game in 2012 yet has fought through the injury since. He tried to rehab it the past few months but eventually opted for surgery. The operation took place on March 26 and will keep Conte on the shelf until at least until the start of training camp.

Conte, the club's 2011 third-round selection, started 16 games last season but struggled for most of the campaign. According to Pro Football Focus, Conte graded 82nd of 86 qualifying safeties in 2013.

His missed call on the season's last defensive play, one in which Aaron Rodgers found a wide open Randall Cobb for a game-winning touchdown, cost the Bears a chance at the playoffs.

The team brought in competition for Conte this offseason with the free-agent signings of Ryan Mundy and M.D. Jennings. The Bears are also expected to address the position in the draft and met privately with Washington State's Deone Bucannon, a potential second-round pick, this week.

Conte now faces an uphill climb to not only regain strength in his shoulder, but to also regain his role as the club's starting safety.

Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his fourth 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.

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