Early Monday afternoon, the Bears placed Brandon Marshall on injured reserve, ending the wide receiver's season with three games to go. The move was made after it was announced last week that Marshall suffered a pair of broken ribs, along with a lung injury, in Thursday night's 41-28 loss to Dallas.
A few hours after his season officially ended, Marshall made his first public comments about the injury, appearing on WMVP-AM 1000's 'Waddle and Silvy Show.'
"I didn't know what was going on, but as soon as (Cowboys safety Barry Church) hit me, I knew there was some internal bleeding going on somewhere," Marshall said. "I had a few broken ribs, a collapsed lung and a little blood."
The injury occurred in the second quarter of the game, after Marshall hauled in a 15-yard reception. Marshall said that usually after taking a big hit, he likes to get up quickly and get back to the huddle, fighting off the pain in private instead of lying on the turf for everyone to see. He tried to do that after Church's knee hit his back, but the pain was so excruciating, Marshall was unable to really move. After a few minutes, trainers and doctors were able to help him to the sideline and eventually the locker room.
In the locker room, head athletic trainer Chris Hanks had Marshall undergo a few tests. The receiver believed that once those were done, he was going to return to the bench and then re-enter the game. Instead, Hanks forced him to go to the emergency room, where he had surgery to fix the internal injuries that had taken place.
"The doc, he basically numbed me, he sliced me open and then took the freaking (chest) tube in. He was just jamming it in. You can feel it cutting through stuff," Marshall said of the operation. "They couldn't put me to sleep, so I was up the whole time."
Marshall said he attempted to follow the second half of the game while at the hospital, but was unable to do so once the operation began. His wife Michi, who is due with twins in the coming weeks, was by his side the entire time. He also welcomed many guests following the game, including George McCaskey, Phil Emery, Marc Trestman, Kyle Long and Martellus Bennett, all of whom paid Marshall a visit late on Thursday night.
With his season at an end, the wide receiver was able to reflect on his 2014 campaign. Marshall finished with 61 receptions for 721 yards, his lowest totals in both categories since his rookie year of 2006. The receiver didn't miss any games during the first 13 weeks, but he dealt with multiple ankle injuries that limited his practice time and ultimately, his production.
"This was the most frustrating season," Marshall said. "Not only was I not really productive; I couldn't get a flow or rhythm in this offense. But I wasn't really having fun.
"This year sucked man, it really did. It sucks for me to go out this way, but I'm ready to move forward and get ready for the next year already."
Marshall said it is painful for him to do simple things such as walk down steps or sit in chairs, as his chest is still quite sore from the injury. Doctors told him rehab would take four-to-eight weeks.
Trestman, speaking later Monday evening on the 'Chicago Bears Coaches Show,' said it would be a difficult task for the Bears to replace Marshall's production in the offense. Even though the receiver hasn't had his best season, he still draws coverages from defenses and is a key player to be accounted for. The offense will need to adjust in the final three games without one of its top playmakers, starting with Monday's game against the New Orleans Saints.
"We'll be seeing all different coverages, different kinds of blitzes, we'll be seeing everything on Monday," Trestman said on the Chicago Bears Radio Network. "You can't replace a Brandon Marshall, but this will give (players like Marquess Wilson and Josh Morgan) a chance to step up and be part of the distribution of targets throughout the game on Monday night. We're looking forward to them stepping up."