By Adam Hoge-
CHARLOTTE (CBS) The main goal in any preseason game is to come out of it healthy. Unfortunately for the Bears, they can’t say they did Friday night.
Defensive tackle Henry Melton left the preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers early Friday with a concussion and by league rules, did not return. The injury further depletes a defensive line that has seen a rash of injuries. With Melton out, Nate Collins saw extended playing time in the three-technique next to Stephen Paea on the first-team defensive line.
The Bears also suffered a blow when longsnapper Patrick Mannelly was blindsided and leveled while covering a first quarter punt downfield. He was immediately shaken up and left with a rib injury. Starting strong side linebacker James Anderson handled the long snaps the rest of the game and did an adequate job. He has actually already been praised for his longsnapping abilities and can probably handle the job if Mannelly misses significant time.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.