Chicago's balanced Week 3 win in Pittsburgh came with a heavy price. Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday and coach Marc Trestman later confirmed.
The news was first reported by ESPN.
Melton has been among the best at his position over the last two seasons. He was playing this season under a one-year contract as the team's franchise player. Now, Melton potentially will head to free agency with a far less certain future.
It is a devastating personal blow for Melton and a difficult one for the Bears' defense. Stephen Paea has played very well this season at defensive tackle, but he might have to change positions to the "three technique," where Melton made his plays, while Nate Collins picks up the slack at nose tackle.
Undrafted rookie free agent Zach Minter is Melton's primary backup, but Minter hasn't even been active for games early this season.