The Chicago Bears’ preseason battle against the injury bug continues.
Here’s the latest:
- Tough break for wide receiver Markus Wheaton, who underwent surgery on his left pinky on Wednesday, per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Fox would not elaborate or speculate on a timetable for Wheaton’s return. It’s been a rough camp for Wheaton, who had an emergency appendectomy done earlier in training camp that could have kept him out of action for a while, but he did return to the practice field sooner than anticipated and was believed to be making good progress. Unfortunately, Wheaton – who was wearing an orange jersey signifying caution during Sunday’s practice – was injured during the last public practice at Bourbonnais and left the field on a cart.
- Between Wheaton’s injury and Rueben Randle’s placement on injured reserve, the injuries have opened a door for one of the many receivers still on the team’s 90-man preseason roster to make some noise and earn a spot. That means a potential of more targets for Tanner Gentry, Victor Cruz, Kendall Wright, Deonte Thompson, Alton Howard, and others. Thompson led the way with eight targets in the preseason opener, followed by Cruz with six. Tight end Daniel Brown was the only other Bears pass catcher who received more than two targets.
- Jeremy Langford had offseason ankle surgery, then missed time in camp with an ankle injury suffered during a walk through session. Alas, Zack Pearson of Scout.com’s Bear Report offers up some good news with Langford’s return to the practice field on Wednesday. Langford says he feels good, and not a moment too soon because the Bears’ reserve running backs played well in the preseason opener. Benny Cunningham rushed for a team-leading 41 yards on seven carries, Ka’Deem Carey avergained 31 yards on four attempts (7.8 yards per carry average is pretty good), and rookie Tarik Cohen ran for 39 yards on seven tries. Langford joins a deep and soon-to-be hotly-contested backup battle in the backfield.
- On the other hand, Prince Amukamara’s update isn’t as encouraging. Head coach John Fox announced the projected starter at one of the two starting cornerback spots is dealing with a hamstring issue. Leg injuries for defensive backs are less than ideal. Hopefully, he heals sooner, rather than later. Amukamara’s status is day-to-day. Aren’t we all? Amukamara left Monday’s practice early, but Fox did not elaborate on the injury until Wednesday. Signed to a one-year “prove-it” deal, Amukamara has been one of the steadiest and most productive corners in camp. He has shown excellent man coverage skills and the ability to break up passes. You’d like to see him get his hands on some more interceptions when possible, but he has been the best corner in camp despite that minor short-coming. If Amukamara misses an extended period of time, Bryce Callahan, Cre’von LeBlanc, and even Kyle Fuller could see some time as a fill-in.
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