Gabe Carimi Injury: How Will Absence of RT Affect Matt Forte, Jay Cutler?

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIISeptember 19, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Gabe Carimi #72 of the Chicago Bears is helped off the field at the Louisiana Superdome on September 18, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Saints defeated the Bears 30-13.(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears were dealt a heavy blow today with the news that rookie offensive tackle Gabe Carimi has a dislocated right knee. Though he won't be lost for the season, Carimi is likely out at least four weeks.

That's bad news for an already weak offensive line.

As many have already said, the Bears have one of the worst offensive lines in all of football. After struggling through the game and allowing a sack in Week 1, Carimi was Chicago's best all-around lineman in the team's 30-13 Week 2 loss to New Orleans.

Even with Carimi in the lineup, the Bears have allowed 11 sacks through the first two games of 2011. Against the Saints on Sunday, quarterback Jay Cutler was under constant pressure. The line surrendered six sacks and Cutler was hit 10 times.

Cutler's awful performance on Sunday can be mostly attributed to his offensive line. He finished the day hitting 19-of-45 passes for 244 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. His quarterback rating was a dismal 67.3 and he also coughed-up a fumble.

While I've never been a big fan of his, I do feel bad for the situation Cutler currently finds himself in. Even Mike Ditka feels sympathy for the sixth-year signal-caller.

With Carimi out, expect the Bears' running game to suffer, too. Running back Matt Forte fought through the Saints defense to carve out a nice game for himself on Sunday, finishing with 10 carries for 49 yards and 10 catches for 117 yards. That followed a Week 1 performance where he racked up 158 total yards and a touchdown.

Forte is having a great season, but if the offensive line continues to struggle with finding him running room, he'll essentially be stuck as a receiving option out of the backfield. That has worked so far this year, but at some point, teams will cover him more tightly on passing downs.

The loss of Carimi just makes a bad situation in Chicago worse. At this rate, Cutler will continue to have to run for his life, and when he can't be settled in the pocket, the results aren't positive.

Sunday's loss to the Saints showed that.

Something drastic needs to change with the Bears' offensive line, or both Cutler and Forte will find themselves drowning in a sea of opposing players behind the line of scrimmage.