The biggest warning signs going into 2017 was the Chicago Bears wide receivers position. Everybody knew the tight rope this team was walking after Alshon Jeffery walked in free agency. It fell to Cameron Meredith and Kevin White to carry the banner forward. Now both men are done for the year. A knee injury felled Meredith in the preseason and it appears a broken collarbone will sideline White.
This marks the third-straight season-ending injury for the former first round pick. No doubt this might qualify him as one of the biggest busts in Bears history. A shame too because he’s a really good guy who works hard. Unfortunately that’s football and now the Bears have to move forward. Options this late into the year are limited. Nonetheless here are some names worth exploring.
Tre McBride (Activation)
The Bears claimed the former Titans receiver off waivers right before the season. So it’s evident just by this that he’s in their future plans at the position. McBride jumped between the main roster and the Tennessee practice squad the past two years. Word is the team had hoped to hang onto him but couldn’t sneak him through waivers again. In college he earned a reputation for being a crisp, quick route runner with soft hands.
Tanner Gentry (Practice squad)
The calls grew loud for Tanner Gentry the moment word came in that White was done for the year. Many felt the training camp hero should never have been cut in the first place. Regardless the opportunity has arisen for the Wyoming undrafted free agent to get his shot. By rights it should be him. He knows the offense and has shown playmaking ability in practice. He also presents a target with some size at 6’2″. The average height of those who finished the Atlanta game was under 6’0″.
Travis Rudolph (Giants practice squad)
Scouts expected Travis Rudolph to go as high as the fifth round this year. Unfortunately he went undrafted. Most of it had to do with his average size and lack of timed speed. If one were to watch the tape though they’d see a crisp route runner with strong hands. He’s not a burner but he knows how to gain space and make the catch. He’s 21-years old and also has considerable hops as evidenced by one of the best plays of the preseason.
— Pissed MARA (@EmperorMara) August 31, 2017
Hunter Sharp (Broncos practice squad)
The former Utah State star has remained stuck on a loaded depth chart with the Denver Broncos for the past two years. He was a consistent threat throughout the preseason, making six catches for 92 yards and a touchdown in three games. He’s only 5’11” but makes up for it with speed, sharp route running and an aggressiveness to attack the ball in the air. He looks like a man who’s ready for his opportunity to play in actual games.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) August 27, 2017
Stevie Johnson (Free agent)
After what’s happened most people wouldn’t want to bring in yet another wide receiver who can’t stay healthy. Of course the Bears don’t have much choice. The last time Stevie Johnson played a full season in the NFL he topped 1,000 yards. Over the past three years though he was dealing with a multitude of ailments. How much gas does he have left in the tank to give it one more go. When his body is right he can make plays.