When N’Keal Harry was traded to Chicago last month, it was viewed as a fresh start for the receiver. But now he’s hit a snag.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Harry left the Bears’ practice early on Saturday after suffering a injury, which Rapoport confirmed is a high ankle sprain. With the start of the regular season only a few weeks away, a severe injury such as this is a big blow for a player who’s trying to establish himself in a new offense.
Harry was traded out of New England in July in exchange for a 2024 seventh-round pick, almost a year after formally requesting a trade from the Patriots. The 2019 first-round pick had not seen as much action as many people expected in his three years with the team and was just never able to find his place within the offense, collecting just 57 catches for 598 yards while in Foxborough.
In joining the Bears for the 2022 season, Harry was hoping to find a place in a wide receiver room which has a open competition for snaps at position as it starts out a new era. Speaking after his first practice with his new team last week, Harry said the move was a “much-needed reset,” but with the news of the ankle sprain, it’s looking like his fresh start will have to wait for now.
High ankle sprains usually take around six weeks to heal, meaning Harry would not be available for at least the first two weeks of the season if that timeline holds. Not to mention, he’ll be missing out on the valuable preseason reps which would have given him more opportunities to prove to the coaching staff that he can play as an every-day starter. Rapoport reported that Harry will be visiting a specialist to make a final diagnosis of the injury, so he’ll have to see just how bad the injury is, and how long he’ll have to wait until he can line up with his new team.