Third-year Chicago Bears pass-rusher Leonard Floyd is dealing with a broken hand, but the team expects him to be ready for the start of the regular season. At least, that's how new head coach Matt Nagy feels about it right now.
Nagy noted that other players in the past have played with clubs but have nevertheless experienced success on the field.
Floyd suffered the injury during the team's preseason game against the Denver Broncos a couple weeks ago. He had surgery to repair the injury, but Nagy said he expects that Floyd will return to practice during the week leading up to the team's season opener against the Packers. "It's not tomorrow, it's not the next day," he said, per the team's official website. "It's still a few days, probably closer to the true Packers week."
As our Sean Wagner-McGough wrote on Tuesday morning, the team needs Floyd to show up in a big way this season -- and he has the potential to provide a serious boost to the Bears' pass rush.
In 2016, as he struggled to put on weight, he flashed serious potential, finishing with seven sacks and as Pro Football Focus' 11th-most productive pass rusher among 3-4 outside linebackers. But injuries (including a scary neck injury and a scary concussion) limited him to 12 games. In 2017, Floyd tallied only 4.5 sacks in a 10-game season cut short by a knee injury. Before going down, he was the 10th-most productive pass rusher among all 3-4 outside linebackers, per PFF.
It might be somewhat difficult for Floyd to access his full array of moves early in the season given the club he'll be wearing on his hand, but his speed around the edge should still be there. That'll benefit the Bears as they attempt to take a step forward this season, and once he gets fully healthy, Floyd should be able to get back to being the player the team envisions him being, which will help even more.