Cole Kmet's Week 17 Status: Playing for Bears vs Falcons?

Bears' TE Cole Kmet faces a critical health decision.

by Faizan Chaudhary
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Cole Kmet's Week 17 Status: Playing for Bears vs Falcons?
© Quinn Harris/Getty Images

As the Chicago Bears gear up for their Week 17 showdown against the Atlanta Falcons, a cloud of uncertainty hovers over tight end Cole Kmet's participation. Since his 2020 draft selection, Kmet has been a model of durability for the Bears, not missing a single NFL game.

However, an injury sustained during last week's encounter with the Arizona Cardinals puts this impressive streak in jeopardy. Kmet, after a robust start with four receptions totaling 107 yards, suffered a knee injury just before halftime.

This mishap has since cast a shadow on his readiness for the upcoming game. His absence from Wednesday and Thursday practices only fuels these concerns, despite a limited Friday session that left his status as questionable.

In the NFL, key players often sit out late-season games when there's little at stake. With the Bears out of playoff contention and only two games remaining, Kmet's incentive to risk further injury is minimal. This cautious approach seems more plausible given the team's current standing and priorities.

Kmet's Resolute Approach

Despite the challenges, Kmet's resolve remains strong. The Notre Dame product, who has started 58 of the 65 games he's played for the Bears, understands the delicate balance between maintaining his consecutive game streak and safeguarding his health.

"I'm not going to be dumb about it, but if I feel good to go, I'm good to go," Kmet stated, reflecting his commitment and realism. It's noteworthy that Kmet has previously demonstrated his tenacity by playing through a quad injury, which had listed him as questionable ahead of last week's game.

This resilience is a testament to his dedication to the team and the sport. Chicago Bears coach Matt Eberflus expressed cautious optimism regarding Kmet's availability, indicating a positive outlook. Nevertheless, Kmet's participation will hinge on a game-time decision, dependent on how his knee responds during pre-game evaluations, as reported by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

Should Kmet be cleared to play, the Bears might still limit his on-field action as a precaution. The final word on his status will be revealed when the Bears release their inactive list, 90 minutes before the 1 p.m. ET kickoff on Sunday.

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