(CBS) The news is as bad for Bears center Hroniss Grasu as initially feared.
Grasu will miss the 2016 season with a torn right ACL that he suffered in Saturday’s practice at Soldier Field, coach John Fox confirmed Monday. He suffered the injury on a non-contact play while changing direction on a screen play and had to be carted off the field.
“It’s a punch in the gut,” Fox said.
Fox denied the injury had anything to do with the oft-criticized turf of Soldier Field.
“It had nothing to with the grass,” Fox said. “It’s the game.”
The news is a big blow to the Bears and the depth of their offensive line following an offseason in which they released veteran Matt Slauson, a steady force who was well-respected in the locker room. Chicago also watched as veteran lineman Manny Ramirez retired in June just more than two months after signing with the Bears.
A second-year pro, Grasu was projected to be the starter at center. Now, veteran interior lineman Ted Larsen is expected to take over the starting role at center.