Since the Bears defensive leader Brian Urlacher went down in week one with a wrist injury, the Bears have seen his backup, Hunter Hillenmeyer get injured as well. Nick Roach, who started nine games at strong-side linebacker last season and two this season (for the injured Pisa Tinoisamoa) played in the middle against Seattle and Detroit and did a pretty solid job.
Hillenmeyer, was suited up today in practice. He hasn’t practiced since suffering a rib injury against Seattle in week three. He is listed as doubtful for the game on Sunday night.
Why would the Bears go with Hillenmeyer over Roach?
The Bears might want to go with Hillenmeyer if he’s ready because of his experience and his leadership on the field. He is a smart player, but he’s not the fastest player.
Why would the Bears go with Roach over Hillenmeyer?
Roach is the healthier option anyways, but he has put together nice statistics the last two games. Against Seattle he came in for Hillenmeyer and made seven tackles and an important pass deflection to the seal the victory. Against Detroit he made seven tackles and sacked Matthew Stafford.
I really liked Nick Roach last season as the strong-side linebacker, but I didn’t know he was talented enough to play in the middle. I guess I was wrong. I think a line-backing core of Briggs, Roach and Tinoisamoa is very solid. That means Jamar Williams, and Hunter Hillenmeyer are the backups and there not bad to have just in case.
Nick Roach’s Future
I think Nick Roach could be Brian Urlacher’s replacement, when Brian decides to retire. Brian Urlacher should retire a Bear at least that’s what the organization owes him after all his hard work. But back to Nick Roach, if Hillenmeyer was healthy I still think Lovie would have put in Roach just because of his speed and ability to get down field in pass situations. The linebackers will have a big challenge to face this coming Sunday night when they have shadow future hall of fame tight end Tony Gonzalez and Roach manning the middle is a key to their success or there failure.