Chicago Bears: D.J. Williams Seriously Hurt? It's Jon Bostic Time

By Brian Neal
Jon Bostic Chicago bears
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

News just broke within the last hour and a half that D.J. Williams may be done for the season with what appears to be a torn pectoral muscle. While Williams has played very well this year — and, of course, you never want see a player seriously injured — I’m actually very kid-like excited to have rookie Jon Bostic stepping into the starting role.

If this is true and Williams is done for the year, which has not been confirmed as of yet, the Chicago Bears get a chance to see their future starting middle linebacker in real and important action a bit earlier than expected.

Bostic, a second-round pick out of Florida, has fantastic size and athleticism — 6-foot-1, 245 pounds and ran a 4.61 40-yard dash, which was third-best among linebackers in this past NFL Draft.

In the preseason, Williams was out all four games with a calf strain. This gave the former-Gator a lot of time to develop with the starters, and certainly impressed Bears fans, especially this one. He had 13 tackles, two pass breakups and a pick-six off of Cam Newton. Even without the solid numbers, just watching him play, he has that sideline-to-sideline speed, and hits ferociously.

Even in his limited action against the New York Giants Thursday night, it appeared the defense’s ability to stop the run improved a bit from earlier in the game. And with the way they’ve been struggling to do that the past few games, that’s certainly a good sign.

It’s still way too early to suggest that Bostic could be the next great middle linebacker for the Bears, but the eye test is what has me so enthusiastic about the 22-year-old.

The raw strength and athleticism will mask some of his early growing pains, but by the end of this year, I doubt there’ll be any question about who will be the starter in 2014. Sorry, D.J., but it your time in Chicago may unfortunately only last one season.

Brian Neal is an NFL and NBA contributor for Follow him on Twitter @brianneal23, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google+.


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