Bad Break

Ahmad Merritt has had a lot of bad breaks since graduating from the University of Wisconsin, but none more frustrating than the one he suffered last Thursday.

The receiver broke his left hand and is expected to miss up to ten weeks. Merritt is still trying to remain positive even with the possibility he may miss the entire season.

"I didn't have to have surgery like we first anticipated, so that was a good thing," Merritt said. Six to eight weeks is what they (the doctors) are saying, maybe ten."

There is doubt if it will matter how fast Merritt can return.

There has been talk of placing Merritt on the injured reserve list, which means he will not be eligible to play again this year.

The reason the Bears management is considering the option is to save a roster space. Even if Merritt heals as quickly as 6-8 weeks that would still put his return somewhere between mid September and early October.

Chicago will likely carry no more than five receivers into the season, four of which are locks for the team in Marty Booker, Dez White, David Terrell and Marcus Robinson. Merritt was expected to be the fifth, but for the team to go with four receivers until he returns would be a risk.

The first round of cuts isn't until August 27 with the final roster being narrowed down to 53 on September 1, so the Bears have time to decide what to do with Merritt.

However, the Bears brass has a different timetable for Merritt's return than he does.

"We still look at as a ten-week injury. Ahmad does not he says he's going to heal fast and be back and be competitive," said head coach Dick Jauron.

Merritt is determined to make it back no matter what it takes.

"If I could cut it (the cast) off I'd cut it off," he said.

Bear Report Top Stories