Safeties and the Chicago Bears just don't seem to mesh.
Not only have they had 56 starting safety changes since Lovie Smith became coach, but many of those occurred due to injuries. The latest injuries have left them short at the position. And even the subs are dropping.
Rookie third-round pick Brandon Hardin had a scary neck injury in Saturday's game, but has since been released from the hospital. However he's unable to practice for at least two more weeks, if not longer. The player he subs for, starter Chris Conte, had a shoulder injury in the game and did not practice Monday. It would seem unlikely the Bears will want to risk using him against the Giants on Friday.
It's gotten so bad, that on Monday undrafted rookie free agent safety Trevor Coston came up lame with a right leg injury during the individual technique portion of practice -- something which barely requires more exertion than stretching.
The Bears have signed Mark LeGree, a fifth-round selection in 2011 (156th overall) by Seattle lout of Appalachian State. The 6-foot, 210-pounder had stints on the practice squads of the Jets, 49ers, and Cardinals last season.
In the meantime, former practice squad player Anthony Walters has been elevated to third safety behind Craig Steltz and Major Wright. Walters wound up on IR himself last year with a hamstring injury after getting activated from the practice squad for four games.
Walters represents a Bears trend in personnel: draft or sign cornerbacks and turn them into safeties. Like Conte and Hardin, Walters was a college cornerback at Deleware.
"I guess that's what they're doing -- it must be in style," the 6-1, 207-pounder said.
Walters thought of himself as a free safety type when he arrived in Chicago.
"I looked at myself as a cover safety until I got here and then I realized that there aren't any cover positions on the team," he said. "Everyone is going to hit.
"You better hit or you won't be in there."
And, it seems, if you do hit, it's possible you won't be in there -- witness Conte and Hardin.
Follow Bears reporter Gene Chamberlain on Twitter: @CBSportsNFLCHI.