Long-snapper Patrick Mannelly, who is slated to undergo surgery on his ruptured ACL a week from Friday, intends to return next year for a record 15th season with the Bears.
“My goal is to be back for Day 1 of training camp. That’s what I’m shooting for,” said Mannelly, who was injured Nov. 20 on an extra-point attempt in a win over the Chargers. “Hopefully I’m back then.”
Mannelly, who joined the Bears in 1998 as a sixth-round draft pick from Duke, has played in a franchise-record 215 games, missing just three contests in 14 seasons before rupturing his ACL. He sat out one game in 2001 with a sprained ankle and two contests in 2002 with a knee injury.
Prior to last week, Mannelly had played in 147 straight games and his 14 seasons are tied for the most in Bears history with linebackers Bill George (1952-65) and Doug Buffone (1966-79).
“I’ve played 14 years and this is my first major injury,” Mannelly said. “I’m very lucky to have that in my career. That’s one thing that I can take out of this; that I’ve played as long as I have without missing a significant amount of time. That’s the only bright side about it right now.”