Bears defensive end Corey Wootton out four weeks

Chicago Bears defensive end Corey Wootton is expected to miss about four weeks after suffering cartilage damage in his right knee on the opening kickoff of Saturday’s preseason opener at Soldier Field.

Wootton was blocked from the side and came up limping a little bit, but left the field under his own power. An MRI Sunday confirmed the injury and he is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday.

The Bears have been counting on Wootton, a fourth-round draft pick last year from Northwestern, to step up and be their swing end behind starters Julius Peppers and Israel Idonine. Peppers played 88 percent of the snaps last season and Idonije was at 80, meaning the Bears need someone to play about one-third of the time to spell them if the same rotation is planned.

New York Jets bust Vernon Gholston is an option, but he’s yet to stand out in training camp. It will be interesting to see if the Bears place a claim for Aaron Maybin, who will be released by the Buffalo Bills. He’s another undersized type who bombed out in a 3-4 defense but could potentially fit Lovie Smith’s scheme. The Bears have hit with another former Nittany Lions lineman in Anthony Adams, but they struck out with Michael Haynes.

General manager Jerry Angelo is also trying to revive the career of Houston Texans castoff Amobi Okoye. With the team collecting other clubs’ first rounders (Roy Williams included), maybe the Bears will take a shot at Maybin.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune