Ogunleye Injury Remains a Mystery

Lake Forest - Following a Wednesday practice in which he did not exhibit any of the quickness or power that he used to pile up an AFC-best 15 sacks last season, defensive end Adewale Ogunleye did not practice at all Thursday.

Coach Lovie Smith admitted the decision on whether Ogunleye can play on his strained right calf might not be made until Sunday. He remained questionable, but that may be wishful thinking on the Bears' part. One thing is certain: he won't be 100 percent anytime soon.

"With this one, I'm not sure if I'll ever be," said Ogunleye, who has 1 sack. "Hopefully toward the end of the season. But I'm not going to go out there if I'm not able to contribute and have fun with the rest of the guys the way Alex (Brown) and Mike (Haynes) and them have been having fun."

Ogunleye, who signed a $33.4 million contract after being traded to the Bears for Marty Booker and will make $15 million this year including a $10 million signing bonus, has already missed two games. He did not miss a game the past two years while totaling 24 1/2 sacks. Ogunleye is 11th on the Bears with 20 tackles, fifth among Bears defensive linemen.

"I'm disappointed in one, this injury, and two the fact that I just don't feel like right now I've got control of my game yet," Ogunleye said. "I wanted to come in here and make a big impact early and that didn't happen. I've just got to go on in this second half of the season and try to put up numbers and at the same time just help this team win games."

Both sides still refuse to discuss the injury specifically.

"I can't talk too much about the injury because when I do I get in trouble," Ogunleye said. "So anything about my injury talk to Coach Smith about it."

As much as Ogunleye's presence could help neutralize the Giants' offense, which has allowed the second-most sacks in the NFL, the Bears don't want to rush him back and prolong his recovery.

"I think he knows his body," Smith said. "We know him. We realize that when guys get hurt, they're hurt. We brought him here for the long run. He's going to help us win a lot of games. We have a long ways to go. Hopefully we'll get him back this week, but when we do and we get him healthy, he'll be able to help us a lot."


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