Chicago Bears Make Interesting Tweak At Wide Receiver

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The Chicago Bears had to put Byron Pringle on Injured Reserve this week due to a calf injury. He is out for the next month. That meant they would have to find somebody who could fill the void at wide receiver. GM Ryan Poles stuck to his original plan of prioritizing speed. According to NFL agent Murphy McGuire, the Bears came to terms with former undrafted rookie Reggie Roberson to join their practice squad.

The young receiver never managed to latch on with the Tennessee Titans when they signed him during the spring. His story is a typical one. Despite eye-popping numbers early in his college career, two season-ending injuries in 2019 and 2020 slowed his progress. While he was still effective in 2021, the same explosiveness that scared defenses to death wasn’t quite there. Before his senior year, he was averaging 19.6 yards per catch. The guy was dangerous before and after the catch.

The Chicago Bears remain committed to their style.

They want speed. There is no crime in this approach. Every addition they’ve made at wide receiver since Poles took over must be at least in the 4.4 range. It was true of Pringle, Velus Jones, Equanimeous St. Brown, and Ihmir Smith-Marsette. Roberson is no different. When he was healthy, he could take the top off a defense at the drop of a hat. The unknown here is whether he can ever regain that old form. Scouts felt his torn ACL in 2020 would take a couple of years to fully recover from. If they’re right, he should be near 100% by now.

Getting an opportunity will be a challenge. Jones is close to returning from his hamstring injury. The same goes for recent trade acquisition N’Keal Harry. If Roberson wants to get a shot, he’ll have to either hope more injuries happen or start making lots of plays in practice. His best option is embracing a special teams role. That would get his foot in the door. He has enough ability to be a dangerous return man. It’s something to watch for.

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