Two days after a rib injury he sustained while covering a punt forced him to exit the Bears’ preseason opener, veteran long-snapper Patrick Mannelly was feeling much better.
“It’s a little sore, but I’m all right,” Mannelly said Sunday after arriving at the team’s dining facility in Bourbonnais on a bicycle. “It’s not as bad as I thought it would be. I’ve seen other people with them and they can’t laugh, can’t move, can’t sneeze. I haven’t sneezed yet, but I can laugh OK and everything’s all right.”
Although Mannelly sat out practice a few hours after the Bears signed rookie long-snapper Brandon Hartson Sunday, the 16-year veteran said that he expects to be ready to play in the Sept. 8 season opener.
“Yeah, I plan on it,” said Mannelly, who has appeared in a franchise-record 231 games since being selected by the Bears in the sixth round of the 1998 draft out of Duke.
Mannelly was injured when he was blindsided by Panthers safety Colin Jones on Joe Adams’ 23-yard punt return midway through the first quarter of the Bears’ 24-17 loss. The 38-year-old blamed himself for having “poor field awareness” on the play.
“I’ve been hit like that four or five or six times and it was not the shot that hurt but it was the pain afterwards that hurt the most,” Mannelly said. “Normally when you get hit like that, you kind of laugh because everybody is going to laugh at you on tape. So I started laughing and then when I got up I felt the pain in my ribs and it was, uh oh, something’s wrong.”
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