Brandon Marshall appeared to be on the verge of his best game in weeks, but the oft-injured receiver suffered an injury to his ribs in the second quarter and was taken to the hospital by ambulance for evaluation at halftime.
“Thanks for the Prayers,” Marshall said late in the game on Twitter. “I’m good.”
According to an NFL Network report, Marshall may have suffered broken ribs and his spleen is being examined. As of early Friday, Marshall remained in the hospital.
“It’s scary any time a guy goes down and is laying on the ground,” coach Marc Trestman said. “We’ll see and we’re hopeful that it’s nothing to serious. But at this point, he’s under evaluation.”
Marshall was injured making a 15-yard catch on fourth-and-seven from Dallas’ 30-yard line. Marshall was kneed hard to the right side of his back by safety Barry Church after his catch.
Marshall, who could be seen grimacing in pain, required help to the sideline and to the locker room. He was ruled out at halftime.
Quarterback Jay Cutler said it looked like an “innocent hit,” and when he spoke to Marshall at halftime said the receiver was in “good spirits.”
“It’s really tough when a guy like Brandon goes down, such a focal point of our offense,” guard Kyle Long said. “To see him go down is really tough regardless of the extent of the injury but I think we got the guys to come in and be able to make the plays.”
Ankle injuries have hindered Marshall for most of the season, but he hasn’t missed a game. His production, though, had dipped, especially the last two weeks against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions.
But Marshall had three receptions for 61 yards against the Cowboys, including a highlight-reel, one-handed catch for 42 yards just a few plays before getting injured.
Though nearly every offensive player deferred to the “next man up” mentality when asked about losing Marshall, nobody could deny the unique play making ability Marshall brings to the offense.
He almost single-handedly set up the Bears’ first touchdown with catches of 42 and 15 yards on that drive.
“It’s a big loss,” running back Matt Forte said. “Guys got to step up in his place and play but you can’t replace a guy like Brandon.
“A big fourth-down catch and got hit in the ribs. So tough break.”