By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist
(CBS) I wish the best for Erik Kramer, the former Bears quarterback who survived a reported suicide attempt Wednesday.
He was the Bears’ starter when I began covering the team full-time in the summer of 1995, a year that would see him set single-season franchise passing records for yards and touchdowns that still stand today.
Kramer’s remaining years in Chicago never lived up to the promise shown then, as he was beset by a string of injuries that limited his consistency and effectiveness. But through his final season here in 1998, he was civil, professional and regularly available, if not enthusiastic about the media responsibilities that were part of the job.
Speculation that head trauma contributed to his reported depression is worrisome, as always in such stories, and is particularly unsettling in the case of someone only 50 years old.
It’s one thing to see the post-career struggles of a doddering childhood hero or someone only known from old highlight reels. It’s entirely something else when it’s a person so close in age, with whom one crossed professional paths for an extended time. This story hits closer to home.
I hope he gets whatever help he needs.