Chicago Bears star Brandon Marshall said his surgically repaired hip is structurally sound heading into the season opener this week.
The Bears meet the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Pro Bowl receiver says he’s in good shape after missing the preseason finale. He had an excused absence for that game against Cleveland and was examined over the weekend.
He was back with the Bears on Monday.
Marshall said the joint is ”in amazing shape” after having his third hip surgery in four years. The arthroscopic procedure in January followed a season in which Marshall set franchise records for catches (118) and yards receiving (1,508).
”The thing is it’s tough playing at a high level,” Marshall said. ”When you have a surgery, sometimes you get frustrated getting back to that level. We have a lot of amazing things going on here on the field and off the field, and I want to be a part of it. So at times it can be (frustrating). But we made it to Week 1 and that’s a positive thing.”
General manager Phil Emery predicted bigger things for Marshall, saying he’s better than he was a year ago. Statistically, it would be hard for Marshall to match what he did last season, particularly if No. 2 receiver Alshon Jeffery stays healthy and the Bears make good on their vow to spread the ball.
”I see a guy that is more dynamic,” Emery said. ”I see a guy better in and out of his breaks. I see a stronger player. I think he made the comments that he was at 4.5 body fat percentage. He looks it. When you stand up behind Brandon Marshall, you realize how big that man is at the position that he plays. He’s at an elite level for his position in terms of size, dynamic ability, production. I don’t see any back off. Actually, I see a better player.”
He’s a player who turned some heads last week when he expressed frustration over his recovery and said he might have rushed to get back, even though he received rest throughout camp and practices leading up to preseason games.
Given his well-documented battle with borderline personality disorder, a condition that led to past problems on and off the field, that raised some eyebrows. Marshall dismissed those comments as little more than human nature.
”I was a little frustrated, and I’m going to be frustrated,” he said. ”I think that’s just human nature. There’s going to be some ups and downs this season, but we’ve got to stay productive and efficient and effective in the way we act. I’m just excited to be here for one more.”