Nate Collins to have MRI; Paea plans return

CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears defensive tackle Nate Collins is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of the left knee injury he suffered in the third quarter of the Bears’ 26-18 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Fellow Bears’ defensive tackle Stephen Paea said he spoke to Collins after the game.

“I have no idea (how bad he is injured), “Paea said. “He has an MRI tomorrow (Monday) to find out what’s going to happen. He’s good. He had a smile on his face, so he’ll be back.”

Paea was inactive because of a minor toe injury he suffered last week against the Detroit Lions, despite telling reporters on Friday he intended to play after missing the entire week of practice. However, Paea said in the postgame locker room that he thinks there is a strong likelihood he will return to face the New York Giants Thursday night at Soldier Field.

“It was a game-time decision with my foot, and they told me not to play today,” Paea said. "I was (surprised I didn’t play), but at the same time I have to listen to doctors and do whatever they tell me to do. But yeah, (I think) I have a high chance of going (versus the Giants).”

Collins hurt the knee while attempting to pressure Saints quarterback Drew Brees on a pass attempt. Collins' knee appeared to buckle as he was tied up with a New Orleans offensive lineman. The four-year veteran defensive lineman grabbed his knee after falling to the ground and remained on the turf for a short period of time before eventually walking back to the locker room under his own power. He was eventually ruled out for the remainder of the game by the team’s medical staff.

Collins moved into the Bears’ starting lineup after Pro Bowl defensive tackle Henry Melton suffered a season-ending ACL tear. Entering Sunday’s game versus the Saints, Collins led all Bears defensive linemen with 10 tackles through the first four games. Collins also recorded two quarterback pressures and forced one fumble.