Bears' Dvoracek injured; status unsure

Updated: August 24, 2009, 8:07 PM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith would only confirm Monday that defensive lineman Dusty Dvoracek has a sprained right MCL, but a source close to Dvoracek confirmed a report that he tore his ACL and will miss the season.

"Dusty Dvoracek right now has an MCL sprain," Smith said. "We'll be doing more tests. That's all we know with him."

The Chicago Sun-Times first reported that Dvoracek tore his ACL during Saturday's game against the New York Giants, and a source confirmed the report to ESPNChicago.com.

"When I say it's an MCL, that's what it is, that's all we know is that," said Smith. "I'm always optimistic about it, that's all we know right now.

"I'll talk injuries in detail a little bit more on Wednesday, like I would normally do it during a regular game week."

Dvoracek, 26, suffered season-ending injuries in each of his previous three seasons in the NFL. He was enjoying a solid training camp, but Dvoracek's roster status was tenuous considering his multiple past health issues.

His Bears teammates shook their heads in disbelief Monday at the Dvoracek's misfortune.

"Words do a disservice," Bears nose tackle Anthony Adams said. "I can't describe how he feels about it. I can't describe how I feel about it.

"When I heard about it, I was just like, 'man, that [stinks].' "

Bears players found the injury news difficult to take because Dvoracek had his first three years with the team end on injured reserve with season-ending injuries. In 2007, he tore the left anterior cruciate ligament in the first game.

In three seasons, Dvoracek has played in 13 games. His contract expires following this season.

"I've been injured," defensive end Israel Idonije said. "After it happens you've got to put it behind you and move on.

"You fall, you get up. You fall, you get up. That's got to be your attitude. So he'll be all right."

If Dvoracek misses an extended period of time or the rest of the season, the Bears' nose tackle situation could take on a drastically different look.

Dvoracek was in a battle with Adams and Marcus Harrison for the starting spot, but all three were rotating onto the field to stay fresh. Veteran Matt Toeaina also has had playing time in the preseason at nose tackle.

"It affects everybody," Adams said. "We were planning on going into the season with a nice rotation. Now the rotation is a little bit off now. To lose somebody like Dusty he was a high energy guy, a high motor, great technique.

"I was counting on him being there for the whole season, but now it looks like the guys are going to have to do some extra work."

The Bears can also use Idonije at defensive tackle in pass rushing situations or if an injury arises. He has played the position in the past, but is focusing on end this training camp.

Injuries kept a few other Bears out of Monday's practice. Linebacker Jamar Williams sat out with a foot injury sustained in Saturday's game.

Defensive end Henry Melton (ankle) and defensive tackle Tommie Harris also missed practice. Harris did not suffer a new injury, but was just given the day off to rest.

On the positive side for the Bears, cornerback Zack Bowman and safety Danieal Manning returned from missing most of training camp to do individual skills work, but sat out scrimmages. Both had been out with pulled hamstrings.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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