By Chris Emma–
CHICAGO (CBS) — In a complete surprise, Pernell McPhee has endured another apparent setback with the health of his knee.
McPhee will start training camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list for a second straight summer as he deals with a knee injury, the team announced late Wednesday night. Specifics of McPhee’s injury weren’t released, and it was rather unexpected.
Though McPhee has been hampered by knee injuries in each of his first two seasons in Chicago, general manager Ryan Pace made no mention of this specifically being a problem during a press conference earlier Wednesday afternoon, when he indicated the team might not have anyone on the PUP list to open camp. The statuses of Danny Trevathan (knee), Kyle Long (ankle/shoulder) and Zach Miller (foot) offered potential for the PUP list.
McPhee first suffered a knee injury midway through the 2015 season. Rather than shutting him down during a 6-10 campaign, the Bears allowed him to play through the injury before electing for surgery later in the offseason. McPhee also opened last training camp on the PUP list as the recovery from his procedure carried into late July. He would miss the first seven games of the season as a result.
The Bears did conduct physicals Wednesday afternoon, where it’s likely that something was discovered with McPhee’s knee. A player with the PUP designation in training camp isn’t allowed to practice with the team but can attend team meetings and receive medical treatment. A player can be removed at any point from the PUP list in training camp.
McPhee had 16 tackles and four sacks in nine games in 2016. He did undergo offseason shoulder surgery, but there was no known knee procedures for him. McPhee was a healthy and active participant in the offseason program, where he spoke of high hopes with good health.
“I still feel great,” McPhee said in June. “I’m moving around pretty good, as I watch myself on film. … So, you know, I’m still blessed, still feeling great.”
Bears coach John Fox will address the news of McPhee and more on Thursday after the team’s first practice of training camp.