Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has been a believer in linebacker Shea McClellin since the offseason program, but he still was impressed by McClellin’s ability to return from a sprained left medial collateral ligament.
After missing three games, McClellin made eight tackles and forced and recovered a fumble in the Bears’ 37-13 victory against the Rams. McClellin stripped running back Tre Mason and played a pivotal role in holding rookie sensation Todd Gurley to 45 yards rushing on 12 carries.
“Shea’s a stud,” Fangio said Wednesday after practice at Halas Hall. “That was a four-to-six-week injury, and he came back right on the four-week mark. A lot of time guys are at the six- or seven-week mark, and he came right back as early as he could. [He] went out there and played good [against the Rams] and made his presence felt early with a big strip-fumble there.”
It was just another sign of how far McClellin has come at inside linebacker in Fangio’s defense. McClellin is handling the play calls and playing well. He’s in the final year of his rookie contract, but appears to be on track to return. He’s been that impressive.
“We obviously missed him,” Fox said. “His leadership, his communication skills, lot of guys leaned on.”
McClellin said that felt a “couple tweaks” in his knee against the Rams and felt sore afterward. But he practiced in limited fashion on Wednesday.
“I’m very excited just to be out there with my teammates,” McClellin said. “It’s been awhile. So every game, just trying to make a big play. It happened this game and it’s exciting. It kind of feels like a weight off my shoulder a little bit.”
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