February 7, 2023

When N’Keal Harry traded in Chicago last month, it was seen as a fresh start for the recipient. But now he faces an obstacle.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network Insider reported Sunday that Harry left the Bears training early Saturday after sustaining an injury, which Rapoport confirmed was a sprained ankle. With the start of the regular season only a few weeks away, a serious injury like this is a huge blow for a player trying to establish themselves on a new offense.

Harry was traded from New England in July for a seventh-round pick in 2024, nearly a year after he officially requested the trade from the Patriots. The 2019 first-round pick didn’t see as much excitement as many people expected in his three years with the team and he never managed to find his place on the offense, collecting only 57 catches for 598 yards while at Foxborough.

Upon joining the Bears for the 2022 season, Harry was hoping to find a spot in a spacious reception room with open competition for picks in the position to start a new era. Speaking after his first training with his new team last week, Harry said the move was a “much needed reset”, but with the news of his ankle sprain, it looks like his fresh start now has to wait.

Elevated ankle sprains typically take around six weeks to heal, which means Harry will not be available for at least the first two weeks of the season if this schedule continues. Not to mention that he would lose valuable pre-season reps that would have given him more opportunities to prove to the coaching staff that he can play as an everyday starter. Rapoport reports that Harry will visit a specialist to make a definitive diagnosis of the injury, so he will have to find out how severe the injury is, and how long he will have to wait to be able to join his new team. .

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