CHICAGO -- Rex Grossman hobbled into an uncertain future, and the rest of his team wasn't far behind.
"With all the expectations we had, with all we believed we could do, it's been bad," defensive end Alex Brown said. "It's been real bad. I know people use the saying, 'Never in a million years.' That million years came this year. It was bad. Everything was bad. Nothing went the way we felt it would go. And it's over. It's pretty much over now."
There are issues to address all over the roster, and quarterback tops the list.
Benched for ineffective play early in the season, Grossman was performing better until a cruel -- and painful -- twist on Thursday.
Just over 4 minutes into the game, on Chicago's second possession, Grossman's left leg twisted awkwardly when he was driven into the ground by defensive lineman Cornelius Griffin. Once he reached the stadium's tunnel, Grossman was taken away on a cart.
Whether that's his last sighting in a Chicago uniform remains to be seen. The team had no update on his condition on Friday, but the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, citing unidentified sources, reported on their Web sites he has a sprained medial collateral ligament and will need about a month to recover. That would mean his season is over.
"Don't know enough about it," coach Lovie Smith said after the game. "You know, it didn't look good when he was injured. And he didn't finish the football game, of course that's not good."
Grossman has an expiring contract and would probably be a relatively cheap option for teams seeking a quarterback. It's hard to predict what they would get from him, though.
Grossman's five seasons in Chicago have been marked by inconsistency and injuries.
He missed most of the 2004 and 2005 seasons with knee and ankle injuries, and his durability was a big question mark until he got through last season unscathed. Consistency remains an issue.
Grossman got benched after throwing six interceptions and one touchdown in the first three games and did not play again until Brian Griese sprained his left shoulder against Oakland on Nov. 11. The time off appeared to help, considering Grossman has three touchdowns and one interception in the past five games.
"It is amazing," wide receiver Bernard Berrian said. "I sit at home sometimes and think, 'Are we really in this position?' And it's hard, because we really can't pinpoint why."
It was easy to see why the Bears laughed at that information before the season, even though there were questions about Grossman and the running game.
Troubled defensive tackle Tank Johnson was gone, and Darwin Walker was in his place. The Bears had acquired Adam Archuleta, and a dominant defense returned mostly intact along with an offensive line that ranked among the league's best.
Instead, everything -- and everyone, it seems -- came apart.
Archuleta broke his right hand early on and has been ineffective all year, and Walker has battled knee problems.
The problems extend to the other side.
The offensive line struggled from the start, and nine-time Pro Bowl guard Ruben Brown decided to shut it down last month after trying to play through a right shoulder injury.
Grossman had his problems early in the year. Running back Cedric Benson was mostly ineffective before sustaining a season-ending injury to his left ankle two weeks ago.
"These are the tough times," Harris said. "These are the times you hug one another, you hold each other together."
But how much longer will they be together?
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press