LAKE FOREST – While most of the preseason and training camp featured questions about their offense, there was one addition on defense that had Bears’ fans intrigued.
After an 11 1/2 sack season in 2019 with the Cowboys, Robert Quinn joined the team this offseason to create quite a pass rushing tandem on the outside with Khalil Mack. Teams would have to respect both rushers, preventing the double and triple teams that met Mack through most of the 2019 season.
There’s one problem, however. Quinn hasn’t been able to stay healthy so far.
An ankle injury kept him out of the season opener against the Lions at Ford Field and had him limited for most of this week. Quinn described the injury as a fluke incident, but things might be looking up.
On Friday, Quinn took part in a full practice for the Bears as they prepare for their home opener Sunday against the Giants. He’s listed a questionable along with Khalil Mack, who was limited for the entire week. The hope for both is to finally take the field together on Sunday, giving the team and fans a chance to see this pass rush up close.
“I’m definitely excited to see what I can bring,” said Quinn of the prospect of playing on Sunday. “To see what I can bring, see what we can bring as a tandem. Not just us, we’ve got a great group of guys in our outside linebackers so whoever’s out there, I think we’re all capable of making plays.”
No one can do so quite like Mack in the NFL, but he’s coming off a season in 2019 where his numbers dipped thanks to more attention and a little less production. In Week 1 against the Lions, without Quinn in the lineup, Mack was held to four tackles without a quarterback pressure.
That could change if Quinn is also occupying New York’s attention on the edge, and could help the Bears add to the sack and five quarterback hits they got against the Lions.
“I’m looking forward to it, man,” said Mack of getting the shot to play with Quinn.”I know he’s a special player, special talent. Not only that, he’s a great guy. I know it’s going to be fine. When he gets out there, I’ll be waiting on him.”
So will a lot of people on his team and the fans who’ll be watching at home.
See more on the Bears on Chicago Football Weekly with Jarrett Payton and Lauren Magiera on Saturday nights during the season at 6 PM on WGN-TV.