The Green Bay Packers home opener is week 1 vs. Chicago and the Bears' most important player on defense might not be available.
Chicago's plan for rejuvenating its Tampa-2 scheme depends on having consistent pass rush from the defensive line. When healthy, Harris is an elite pass rusher and interior disrupter. When he isn't, the Bears have no one they can rely on for that dual role...
Monday, however, Harris admitted he had a second knee procedure in March to determine why he was still feeling pain after originally having surgery in January 2008. The admission came on another day of inactivity for Harris, who oddly watched the entire practice while wearing full pads and holding his helmet under his arm.
Harris has admitted that he's been playing on one leg.
Without a constant pass rush from the inside, Chicago would have to rely exclusively on their defensive ends for pressure. Otherwise they'd have to blitz more. That really takes something away from their defense. The run defense might be fine, but their pass defense is something special when their linebackers can drop back in coverage and take away all the short passing routes. And they can't do that if they have to blitz. Or is Chicago's defense good enough to overcome the loss of Harris?