The Chicago Bears do not have definitive word on the health of Henry Melton but the team fears the Pro Bowl defensive tackle suffered a torn ACL in Sunday’s 40-23 victory over the Steelers at Heinz Field a source told the Tribune.

Melton was injured in the fourth quarter and was taken off the field in a cart. He had difficulty putting any weight on his left leg. It would be a serious blow for the defense as Melton is one the main cogs at the signature position in the Cover-2 scheme as the three technique tackle.

It is expected Melton will undergo an MRI on Monday and the team will likely be seeking a free agent or two to bring in. In the time being it means Stephen Paea who starts at nose tackle and also can play three technique and Nate Collins will have to pick up the slack. The Bears have not had undrafted rookie free agent Zach Minter active through the first three games but that will likely change. Defensive end Corey Wootton can also play a little three technique and did late in the game.

“I don’t know what to say” Paea said. “Injuries will come and we just have to deal with it. It is huge for us that we lose him. I feel like we have to think positive. The next guy has to step up. The season will keep going.

“This is going to be interesting because me and Nate both play the nose but we can play three.”

Said linebacker Lance Briggs: “You can’t replace a Henry Melton. He is an elite D-lineman. He will be missed. The next man has to step up and do his job. Phil Emery and our coaching staff will find the right guys.”