When N’Keal Harry was traded to Chicago last month, it was seen as a fresh start for the receiver. But now he has hit a roadblock.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Harry left the Bears’ practice early Saturday after suffering an injury, which Rapoport confirmed was a sprained ankle. With the start of the regular season just weeks away, a serious injury like this is a big blow for a player trying to establish himself in a new offense.
Harry was traded from New England in July in exchange for a 2024 seventh-round pick, nearly a year after he officially requested a trade from the Patriots. The 2019 first-round pick hadn’t seen as much action as many people expected in his three years with the team and was never able to find his footing within the offense, collecting just 57 catches for 598 yards while in Foxborough.
Joining the Bears for the 2022 season, Harry hoped to find a spot in a big receiver room that has open competition for buttons at the position as a new era begins. Speaking after his first training session with his new club last week, Harry said the move was a “necessary reset” but with the news of his sprained ankle, it looks like his fresh start will have to wait until present.
High ankle sprains usually take around six weeks to heal, meaning Harry would be out for at least the first two weeks of the season if that timetable holds. Not to mention, he’ll miss out on valuable preseason reps that would have given him more opportunities to prove to the coaching staff that he can play as a starter every day. Rapoport mentioned that Harry will see a specialist to make a final diagnosis of the injury, so it will be necessary to see how serious the injury is and how long he will have to wait until he can line up with his new team.