One of the Bears’ more intriguing free agents is recovering from hip surgery.
According to Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, who cited the doctor who performed the surgery, Wootton had an arthroscopic procedure on a hip labrum and hip joint.
Wootton, 26, is slated to be an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins in March. The Northwestern product played in all 16 games for Chicago in 2013, starting all but one contest and making starts at left defensive end and defensive tackle in the Bears’ base 4-3 front. He recorded 35 tackles and 3.5 sacks this season.
In the press release, the hospital said Wootton had coped with the hip issue for the last two seasons. He played in all 32 regular-season games for Chicago in that span, and he was not listed on the injury report in 2013.
“I’m looking forward to being 100 percent recovered from this, to really showcase what I can do,” Wootton said, according to the hospital.
The 6-foot-6, 275-pound Wootton’s ability to play multiple positions along the line will not hurt his value in free agency. How he checks out medically will be key, and having the surgery now gives him a head start on his recovery.