INDIANAPOLIS -- A key component of the Chicago Bears' offensive line next season could be unrestricted free agent right guard Lance Louis, who continues to recover from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Louis, who was injured absorbing a questionable block from Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen on Nov. 25, has spent the offseason rehabbing the injury at Halas Hall, but Bears general manager Phil Emery stopped short of saying the versatile offensive lineman will be ready to go by the start of training camp.
"I don't think that's been determined yet," Emery said. "Right now, Lance is full in to his rehab and has made significant progress, and we're pleased with his progress."
Louis, arguably the best player on the Bears' offensive line last year, negotiated with the Bears during the regular season about a potential contract extension, but the deal never got finalized before he went on injured reserve.
A former 20009 seventh-round draft choice, Louis was scheduled to earn a base salary of approximately $1.308 million last season in the final year of his rookie contact based on triggering several escalators in 2011.
His current worth is difficult to determine due to the knee injury, but Louis seems like a candidate to return, health permitting.