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"O", No! Costly Loss for Bears' Offense

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Aug 31, 2007 2:14PM

2007_08_sports_greg_olsen.jpgThe Bears wrapped up their preseason schedule on Thursday night by hosting the Cleveland Browns. The Browns beat the Bears 19-9, giving the Bears a 3-1 record for the preseason.

With the regular season opening in nine days, the goals for the final tune-up were to evaluate the talent of the guys still trying to make the squad, and to keep the starters healthy.

Unfortunately for the Bears, coach Lovie Smith kept at least one player on the field a bit too long. First-round draft choice Greg Olson came off the field limping after making a catch not long before halftime.

The initial diagnosis for the tight end out of the University of Miami is a knee sprain. An MRI on Friday will help determine the extent of the injury. Let's hope that there aren't any torn ligaments and that the initial 2-4 week prognosis won't grow longer.

While Lovie defended his decision to keep Olson on the field by noting that he's not yet part of the first team, Chicagoist tends to think that maybe it's best to sit your first-round pick when you sit the starters. The speedy tight end was expected to become a key part of the Bears passing game. His rapid development up to this point ensured it was only a matter of time before he was a member of the starting lineup.

Last year, tight end Desmond Clark often became a preferred target in many of Rex Grossman's good games. Many hope that Olson's presence would help take the offense to the next level. Losing him for the first few weeks of the season certainly is a setback for both Olson and the Bears offense. And with the San Diego Chargers, with their high-powered offense, the opponent in Week One, the Bears offense will be expected to pull their weight from the get go.

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh.