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Bears safety Brandon Hardin out of hospital

Rookie will be OK after scary neck injury but return schedule unknown Brad Biggs

Print This August 20, 2012, 10:15 AM EST

Chicago Bears rookie safety Brandon Hardin was upbeat Sunday when he was released from a local hospital after being kept there for one night following a neck injury in Saturday’s preseason game at Soldier Field.

Hardin was carted off the field early in the third quarter and taken for tests. All came back clean for him as Hardin never lost movement in his extremities. He also never lost consciousness.

But it’s a little early to say when the third-round draft pick from Oregon State will be able to return to the field. According to a source, Hardin will undergo additional tests in about two weeks. That timeline pushes up close to the start of the regular season.

The Bears are high on Hardin, a converted cornerback, because he’s got rare size at 6-3, 222 pounds and range. He not with the starters right now but the Bears have high turnover at safety, typically, and special teams coordinator Dave Toub has been very high on him.

If Hardin’s timeline for a return is in the near future, the Bears will likely wait for him to return. If it’s a case where he’s got an extended recovery period from the injury and they are in need of a roster spot, a trip to the injured reserve could happen. But the team doesn’t need to make a decision right away.

Hardin was injured tackling Redskins tight end Logan Paulsen.

"Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers," Hardin wrote on his Twitter account. "I can't give an exact update, but the good news is that I'm gonna be ok. And we won!"

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
 

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