Bears nickel CB Bryce Callahan broke the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot Sunday night and could miss the remainder of the season, according to NFL Media's Mike Garafolo.
Callahan was ruled out early in the second half Sunday night vs. the Rams after suffering the injury in the second quarter. Bears head coach Matt Nagy said Monday that Callahan is undergoing evaluation and the team expects to know more regarding the severity of his injury within 24-36 hours.
Callahan, 27, had appeared in the first 12 games of the season, making nine starts, prior to getting injured Sunday night. Durability is pretty much the one remaining rub in Year 4 — a contract season — for Callahan, the 5-foot-9, 188-pound former undrafted free agent out of Rice.
He was off to the best start of his career, matching career highs with two interceptions and six passes defensed, along with 43 tackles, a personal best. The Bears last offseason signed the then-restricted free agent to a one-year, right-of-first-refusal RFA tender worth $1.9 million.
Callahan, the smallest player on the Bears' defense but one of their toughest pound for pound, appeared poised for a serious raise this offseason — in Chicago or elsewhere. Though he missed time in each of his first three seasons with injuries, Callahan has shown a unique playmaking penchant and tenacity in coverage and in run support, especially given his stature.
Whether the Bears, who have more than $24 million tied up in the CB corps between Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara in 2019, can afford to retain Callahan will be among their trickier offseason dilemmas. In the meantime, they're hoping that his injury Sunday won't add another element into an already tough decision.
Veteran Sherrick McManis, the Bears' longest-tenured player, replaced Callahan, who was taken to the locker room in the second quarter. Undrafted rookie Kevin Toliver was also on the field a bit Sunday night, when starting outside CBs Fuller and Amukamara both briefly departed after getting nicked up.
If Callahan's season is indeed over, it'll be fascinating to see how Vic Fangio pivots. McManis has been pretty good in relief while playing 101 defensive snaps, 15 fewer than Toliver, so far this season. But neither has the quickness and coverage ability of Callahan. Fangio interestingly stayed in his base 'D' a lot Sunday night despite the Rams being almost an exclusive "11" personnel (one back, one tight end, three receivers) offense.