June 5, 2023

When N’Keal Harry was traded to Chicago last month, it was seen as a fresh start for the receiver. But now he hits a snag.

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Harry left the Bears’ practice facility early Saturday after an injury that Rapoport confirmed was a high ankle sprain. With the regular season just weeks away, a serious injury like this is a huge blow for a player trying to establish himself in a new offense.

Harry was traded out of New England in July for a seventh-round pick in 2024, nearly a year after the Patriots were officially asked for a trade. The 2019 first-round pick didn’t play out as many expected during his three years with the team, and he didn’t find his place on offense, collecting just 598 yards from Foxborough. 57 catches.

When joining the Bears for the 2022 season, Harry hopes to find a spot in a spacious receiving room that can openly compete for a spot as he begins a new era. After his first practice session with his new team last week, Harry said the move was a “much-needed reset”, but with news of a sprained ankle, it looks like his fresh start will have to wait for now.

High ankle sprains usually take about six weeks to heal, meaning if that schedule holds true, Harry will be out for at least the first two weeks of the season. Not to mention, he’ll miss out on valuable preseason reps that will give him more opportunities to prove to the coaching staff that he can be a daily starter. Rapoport reports that Harry will be seeing a specialist for a final diagnosis of the injury, so he’ll have to see how serious the injury is and how long he’ll have to wait before lining up with his new team.

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