Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

13 Aug 2005

Grossman Out 3-4 Months with Broken Ankle

Bears QB Rex Grossman suffered his second serious injury in as many seasons during Friday night's preseason game against the Rams. Chicago finished 32nd in seven different offensive categories in 2004 and losing Grossman certainly won't help things. The good news: Jonathan Quinn is no longer with the team; the bad news: Chad Hutchinson is. Maybe the Bears can work a trade for Craig Krenzel.

Posted by: P. Ryan Wilson on 13 Aug 2005

42 comments, Last at 04 Sep 2005, 6:32am by HUGE BEARS FALLOWER


by Jerry F. (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 12:13am

I hope they start Orton. They should just move on to the next QB of the future, rather than waste time with some scrub who will get them to, at best, 9-7 and a first round playoff loss.

by Justin Zeth (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 12:17am

I hope the Bears will now be smart enough to realize Rex Grossman is never going to play more than a few games in the NFL, dump him, and go find a decent stopgap quarterback in lieu of coming up with a good young guy. (Has anybody signed Vinny Testaverde yet?)

by Jerry F. (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 12:42am

By "scrub" I meant particularly guys like Hutchinson, who they have, or Testaverde, who has nothing more to offer. I wouldn't mind Jeff George though. He's got upside.

by Glenn (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 12:52am

Not to worry, Bears fans. Rohan Davey will probably be hitting the waiver wire in a couple weeks.

by JB in DC (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 12:52am

Jeff George's upside is that you might have a new coach next season.

by Charles Martin (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 12:56am

I knew once I destroyed McMahon's shoulder I'd have killed that whole sorry franchise for all of eternity.

by mactbone (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 1:09am


Go Orton. I guess. Grossman is done. If you can't even get on the field in three years your career is not working out.

by Aaron (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 1:18am

Here are the nightmarish new KUBIAK projections -- understanding that the sample size of the data I use to project rookie quarterbacks is really, really tiny, and Orton could easily be better than this. I split the job between the two QBs.

Hutchinson: 147-for-260, 1627 yards, 9 TD, 10 INT
Orton: 122-for-226, 1316 yards, 7 TD, 10 INT

After aligning the QB projections with the WR projections, Muhammad drops to 790 yards and 6 TDs, and Bobby Wade drops to dear god why are you even considering drafting me.

by Ray (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 1:53am

Man that sucks. I was hoping Grossman would be able to have a good year and help turn Chicago around. Hutchenson is obviously a temporary measure. If Orton can step up, Rex may not get back on the field for the Bears. But I don't think that Grossman can be totally dismissed. It'll be tough, but he can probably still play. Maybe he's getting all his bad luck out of the way early in his career.

by Krugerindustrialsmoothing (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 2:12am

re 2:

perhaps it's my old age talking, but it seems more than a little harsh to label a guy as injury prone because a 300 pounder rolled over on his ankle. Twice in 2 years is admittedley profoundly unlucky, but let's not quit on the guy because of misfortune.

Now is/will he ever be any good? there's a question.

by Rhys (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 2:21am

They should try to trade for that Rusher McFumbles fellow the Patriots played in the second half, he'd be interesting to watch at least.

by Jeff F (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 3:04am

Hey, Rusher McFumbles looked better than Davey ever has (I don't know why Bellichick keeps him around. Davey isn't worth touching with a 10 foot pole, unless the Bears want to see another Quinn-like performance. A leader is nice, but if you can't throw the ball to an open receiver consistently, you have no business in the NFL unless you are Michael Vick).

It's sad to see Grossman injured again, he looked decent, at least capable of leading a defense based team to a winning record, if not super star status, but the other guys that the Bears seem to keep around look like NFL Europe class players, which isn't saying much (Look at Quinn and Davey in Europe).

by Kibbles (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 3:07am

#10 is right. I'd like to hear people suggest someone whose ankle might NOT have broken in a similar situation.

Also, for all the Grossman bashing that goes on around here... look at Chicago's offensive efficiency with him, and look at their efficiency without him. It seems to me that he's already LIGHTYEARS ahead of the other guys on his squad.

by Bears Fan (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 3:31am

well, i guess i know i'm starting steve smith and michael clayton on my fantasy team, now. that was an easy decision. keep that bench warm for 'em, muhammad.

by Stiller Fan in Cle (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 4:09am

"#10 is right. I’d like to hear people suggest someone whose ankle might NOT have broken in a similar situation."

There's a 'Brett Farve is god' joke in there somewhere...

All I know is that the people who had bet the under on the Bears hit the jackpot...

by Rhys (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 4:59am

I'm not particularly down on McFumbles, I just think he benifited from quite a bit of good luck over the course of the game. I do think he's a better option than Davey ever was, and I'd even venture to postulate he might be able to win the Bears starter job.

by Justin Zeth (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 8:41am

Actually, now that I've thought about it, if the Bears really think their defense and running game can carry them deep into the playoffs, they probably should go ahead and sign a Vinny Testaverde. Unlike Hutchinson and Orton, Vinny at least knows what he's doing. They'd just have to understand that if Vinny is under center, they'll never be able to come from behind in the second half.

I wonder if the Steelers will try and move Tommy Maddox to the Bears for a low-round pick now... but I wouldn't wish such a hideous fate on Bears fans that already have suffered enough.

by fyo (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 9:02am

I hear Kurt Kittner is available.

by mikeabbott (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 9:46am

I don't see the Pats trading Rusher McFumbles to the Bears or anyone else. If anyone was willing to pay much he wouldn't have lasted until the 7th round.
He put up 3 gifts the bengals turned down and I think he got a break on at least one of those fumbles. His stats should have been ugly. BUT, he hasn't played ,except for running out the clock clean up work, since high school. I would be very disappointed and surprised if the Pats dind't give him some more chances.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 10:01am

I think McFumbles probably managed to at least show the raw ability that a team is usually looking for in 3rd QB and probably played himself to where he could be a 3rd QB somewhere in the league if the Patriots released him.

Although we'll see if he gets another shot in another preseason game.


by TMK (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 11:25am


Scary as this may be, Kurt Kittner is already ON the Bears' roster -- he played the 4th quarter for them last night.

The Bears had George last year -- although he never played, and then they dumped him after he said he'd like to stay. I think he signed with Seattle?

A few years from now, someone will put together one of those draft reviews and label Grossman as a "bust" -- because three years from now, he will probably have played enough games to just have learned what QB in the NFL means.

Remember, Jamal Lewis blew out his left ACL in college, then his right in his second training camp. While he's not a Hall of Famer, I'd say his career has been pretty decent -- Grossman could be at least as productive eventually. The time it will take for tht happen means it probably won't be with the Bears, though.

If we're going off of last night's performances, the Carson Palmer bandwagon must be getting pretty empty. With their schedule, Palmer could have the kind of up-and-down year that even the best QB's have had when they're developing.

by Scott Pioli (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 12:14pm

To: Bears GM

I'll give you my drummer (who happens to be 5th in career passing yards in the CFL!) if you give me a decent ocarina player... maybe you should just get quincy carter out of jail and make him your starter qb.

by billvv (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 12:24pm

Well, what do you know, Pennington isn't the only injury-prone QB! Good luck beating THAT rap!

by max (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 12:35pm

How can any QB get knocked out by the Rams D? From what I've been reading here they stink on ice.

Grossman must be made of paper.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 1:44pm

As for being injury-prone, it may be true that any QB who got hit a similar way would probably get hurt (I haven't seen video, but it sounds pretty nasty). However, there are some QB's who are more injury prone because they take more hits, or more severe hits. Avoiding injuries as a QB isn't all about your body being strong enough to take wicked punishment - a lot of it is knowing how to avoid it, or at least to take the hit so as to lessen the blow. There is a reason some QB's almost never miss a game, whereas some (McNair, Warner, Chris Miller) are or were almost always hurt.

by beedubyuh (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 2:05pm

I am so friggin' bummed right now. This all went down while I was conducting my keeper league draft. I had the Sox/Boston game on in the background.

When the draft ended I picked up the remote, thinking to myself, "Let's see how the beloved Bears are doing...OH MY GOD NOOOOOO!!!"

So, Matt Leinart looks good at #1, yes?

by Reinhard (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 4:52pm

That really does suck... I was looking forward to all those Bears games on TV this year, not anymore. BUT, who knows, right?

This injury sounds legitimate, but if anyone remembers the one he sustained last year... well, that one definitely made him look very paperesque. Getting your body out of the way: some luck involved, some skill. Think of runningbacks; in a long enough career, luck will even out with 25 hits taken a game, yet some RBs break records, others, well, seemingly everything. But they have the same bones and muscles, so I would claim that avoiding injuries is MOSTLY a skill. Stepping out of bounds is actually a very poor example of avoiding injuries, it is a rather unusual play, and involves letting up a little bit, which is how injuries often happen. Some players simply have a poorer grasp of the angles, forces, and little, tiny decisions that cause injuries. You see this when kids are playing... the most aggressive ones that stick their head in everywhere dont usually take very bad injuries, in fact, it seems like they get good at avoiding them.

Also, if I had to put money down between seeing Grossman this year with the Bears, starting, and never seeing him again, Ill go with the former.

A broken ankle doesnt sound as bad as stuff like ACL tears to me.

by peachy (not verified) :: Sat, 08/13/2005 - 11:55pm

I saw the injury last year on TV as it happened, and I positively cringed - Grossman was stretched out diving over the line when a defender caught him full-speed from the side. I'd guess most players would have been hurt by that kind of hit. Certainly Grossman had a clean record in college; like others in this thread, I would consider him unlucky rather than injury-prone (unlike fellow former Gator Fred Taylor.) Whether he turns into a competent pro is of course another matter...

by Adam (not verified) :: Sun, 08/14/2005 - 12:29am

Screw the real-world consequences; I'm just glad I didn't draft Mush anywhere.

If I'm the Bears, I'm also looking at Jeff Blake and, maybe, bringing Slash back again.

by Josh (not verified) :: Sun, 08/14/2005 - 12:31am

At least the Bears can take solace in the fact that their 1st rd draft pick RB is having a great training camp and looks ready to dominate the NFL . . . oh wait, he's holding out, won't report to camp anytime soon.

by Chris I. (not verified) :: Sun, 08/14/2005 - 4:51pm

Let's see... another year, another Bears team with a huge hole at quarterback and a 1st-round running back holding out. It's like "Groundhog Day." I was watching the game and as soon as I saw Grossman limping, I knew he was done... again.

The two most promising young QBs the Bears have had in the last 40 (50? 60?) years were Jim McMahon and Rex Grossman. At least they won a Super Bowl with McMahon, but his inability to stay healthy probably cost the franchise another one or two championships. And in terms of durability, Grossman makes McMahon look like Brett Favre.

I say let Orton play now. At least he has upside. Hutchinson is a known quantity (featuring a heaping portion of suckiness).

by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Sun, 08/14/2005 - 8:07pm

re 17: "They’d just have to understand that if Vinny is under center, they’ll never be able to come from behind in the second half."

Never say never - if i remember right, Vinny led the Boys back in the second half to a wild Monday nght victory over the Seahawks last year.

Also, a comeback against the Redskins - though it was only after blowing the lead.

Anyway, I agree w/ the sentiment - I can't believe Vinny's DVOA was good enough for 17th in the league - he was awful on third downs - not seeing open receivers, misreading coverages as if he were a rookie or something.

As for other options - since they already have Hutch, maybe they should take a look at "Starsky" Quincy Carter. His DVOA was dreadful, but he did lead a bad Cowboys team to the playoffs.

by Catholic Samurai (not verified) :: Sun, 08/14/2005 - 10:09pm

I wouldn't be suprised if Grossman is one ice cream headace away from becoming a full-fledged member of American Atheists, Inc.

by SteelerBill (not verified) :: Sun, 08/14/2005 - 10:10pm

Gentlemen...does this mean that Cedric Benson just rec'd some unexpected leverage? If Da Bears decide to eventually go with the rookie (Orton) wouldn't they need a strong running game to protect him?

by Josh (not verified) :: Mon, 08/15/2005 - 2:28am

In some ways I think maybe this gives Benson less leverage. Could this make the Bears realize that this will be a wasted season, so why rush and sign Benson to a bad deal?

In other related news, the Bears have signed Jeff Blake.

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Mon, 08/15/2005 - 9:54am

Well, the Bears signed Jeff Blake.

by Adam (not verified) :: Mon, 08/15/2005 - 10:08am

I am smart! S-M-R-T!

by HLF (not verified) :: Mon, 08/15/2005 - 12:25pm

re: 33 - I don't get it. American Atheists? Could you spell your point out for the slow kids (like me)?

by TomC (not verified) :: Mon, 08/15/2005 - 3:35pm

re: 33 & 38 - Actually, I think Rex has found out what many of us have known for some time: God does exist, but He's got a sick sense of humor.

by Todd Treichel (not verified) :: Mon, 08/15/2005 - 6:53pm

I'm a Packers fan and even I feel bad for the Bears. I'm old enough to remember having every little glimmer of hope shot down year after year between Lombardi and Reggie White. The GB/CHI rivalry could be so great, but for decades now they never are on a successful cycle at the same time. Unfortunately, if the Bears do get something going one of these years, the Pack will probably be sliding right past them into the quagmire.

by Carl (not verified) :: Fri, 08/19/2005 - 4:03pm

To show you how unlucky Grossman is, bear in mind that QBs are NOT known for ankle injuries. During any given season, no more than eight have ever reported an ankle injury since the NFL began keeping records.

Over the last six years, QBs are half as likely to hurt their ankles compared to other players in the league. In fact, of all positions QBs are the least likeliest to suffer an ankle injury of any kind.

So, who is getting all those damaged ankles? Cornerbacks, Defensive Tackles and running backs suffer very high rates of ankle injuries, but for different reasons.

The running backs have one of the most interesting causes: While moving through the lines, it's very common for a defender to reach out to grab and twist the rusher's feet, kind of a very low tackle.

That twisting and dragging of the foot leads to a large number of ankle injuries. In any given season, about 30 or so rushers go down with bum ankles.

by HUGE BEARS FALLOWER (not verified) :: Sun, 09/04/2005 - 6:32am

Orton needs to be QB and Muhammad is goiod where he ius at. He is doing well for this team. As far as Benson is concerned NO ONE except for the coaches has seen him play for the bears. He maybe a great player but we need to see how well he fits the bears.