Kyle Fuller missed the entire 2016 season with a knee injury, and has slid down the depth chart since. So, leave it to a cruel twist of fate to possibly allow him to start tomorrow:
Bears CBs Prince Amukamara (hamstring) and CB Bryce Callahan (ankle) did not practice. Saturday could be an important night for Kyle Fuller.
— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) August 18, 2017
Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune reports that cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Bryce Callahan did not practice on Thursday, which means tomorrow could be a big game for Fuller.
Amukamara looked good in training camp and during the team’s preseason-opening loss against the Denver Broncos. Unfortunately, Amukamara – who hasn’t played a full 16-game season since 2013 – left practice Monday with what turned out to be a hamstring injury. Callahan’s ankle injury is new, and relatively significant because of his place on the depth chart as one of the team’s top nickel cornerbacks and punt returners.
And these are just the latest injuries suffered this summer by Bears cornerbacks.
If you’ll recall, Marcus Cooper was fighting a hamstring issue earlier in camp. So if the Bears were to play it cautiously with Amukamara, Cooper, and Callahan, Fuller would be in prime position to start and make his case for a spot on the season-opening 53-man roster.
Starting at corner wouldn’t be all that new to Fuller, who started 30 of 32 games in his first two seasons with the Bears to mixed results. Fuller shined in consecutive primetime games as a rookie, coming up with three interceptions and 10 tackles in games against the San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets. However, he has just three interceptions in 29 games since his back-to-back breakout games.
Exercising patience as the Bears corners recover from injuries could pay dividends for Fuller, who is fighting for his place on the Bears roster. The revamped secondary features four players who were signed as free agents this offseason, as well as 2016 draft pick Deiondre’ Hall.
Fuller is in the final year of his rookie deal, and while his long-term future is fuzzy, he could do a lot to prove his short-term worth with a solid performance in the absence of players ahead of him on the depth chart this Saturday.