Gabe Carimi Injury: How Does Absence of OT Affect Jay Cutler, Matt Forte?

Jon DoveContributor ISeptember 18, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 11:  Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears participates in warm-ups before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Falcons 30-12.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

John Mullin is reporting that Gabe Carimi is out of the lineup for Chicago. The injury will impact the fantasy value of both Jay Cutler and Matt Forte.  Carimi was an important part of an already questionable offensive line.  His injury will be something to monitor in both the short and long term.

Last season, the Bears offensive line gave up the most sacks of any unit.  However, the Bears decision makers felt that adding Carimi was enough.  He was the lone addition to a unit that constantly threatens the health of their quarterback.  With Carimi out of the lineup, Jay Cutler needs to find a way to get the ball out quickly.

Carimi was a nice addition, but wasn't performing at an All-Pro level. He was having a hard time keeping rushers in front, allowing several quarterback hurries.  However, his replacement Frank Omiyale surrendered the most sacks of any Bears offensive lineman last season.

The fantasy value of Jay Cutler and Matt Forte take significant hits, as increased pressure will limit the effectiveness of the offense. Cutler was already under a tremendous amount of pressure, which now only figures to increase.

Forte might take the biggest hit, due to Carimi's injury.  Carimi is considered an excellent run blocker, with the ability to get some push off the line.  Forte was operating with little running room, which will now decrease.  However, Forte makes the most of his plays in the passing game.  Less time for Cutler will mean less opportunities for Forte.  It may also mean less passing attempts.

Carimi might not be a great player, but his backup is even less capable.  The Chicago offense is going to continue to struggle.  The offensive line struggles will continue to make Cutler an injury concern.

Jon Dove is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report, covering the NFL and NFL draft. Check him out on Twitter @Jon_Dove42.