The Chicago Bears placed veteran linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer on injured reserve today, ending his season as he is suffering from the affects of a concussion he received in the team’s third preseason game.
The move caught some off guard but Hillenmeyer was removed from the opener on Sunday at Soldier Field with what the team called an “illness.” Coach Lovie Smith said Monday it was being further evaluated.
“I have mixed emotions,” Hillenmeyer said in a release distributed by the team. “I respect the decision of (general manager) Jerry (Angelo) and Lovie to place me on injured reserve. Concussions by nature are harder to evaluate than other injuries. While this is probably in my best interest and the team's, it is hard to accept the fact that my season is over in one game.
“As someone who has been in the forefront of player advocacy of concussion awareness, I'm happy to see my team err on the side of caution. But when it is my season that is cut short, it makes the complexity of the issues really hit home.”
The 29-year-old has made 69 career starts. He was second on the team in tackles last season. The Bears have not filled his roster spot and they are now thin at the position as fellow linebacker Nick Roach was forced out of the game with a hamstring pull.
The Bears are expected to add a linebacker soon.
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