Cleat Geeks

Injuries, O line, & Young Secondary Are Storylines From Bears Camp

Bears fans have heard a lot about Akiem Hicks, how he’s 6-5 324lb, and how Kyle Long and Bobbie Massie are going to play next to each other on the offensive line.  But a lot of the talk and storylines of Bears camp have been injures, which to many, is not a huge surprise.

AlshonJeffery2Alshon Jeffery did not attend any off-season workouts for the Bears. He trained in Florida, which he said was not in protest but his own wish.  Jeffery, who he and the Bears failed to get a long term deal done, is already sidelined two weeks into the season with a hamstring injury. With Jeffery down, the Bears have Kevin White and Josh Bellamy at the top WRs. Kevin White has not played a single down in the NFL and Bellamy is a good player but not someone you want at number two on the depth chart. Teammates have to be angry at Jeffery for not taking care of himself because of his value to the team. Jeffery is out again today for Bears Family Fest, which is basically an open practice at Soldier Field with family fun and a chance to see the Bears in Chicago for the first time this season.

Zach Miller and Eddie Royal have been in concussion protocol since August 1st. Royal, who appeared in nine games last season and caught only one touchdown, got hurt in practice on the 1st.  Miller, revived his career last season with the Bears, but has had a past full of injuries. The Bears TE depth is scarce so Millers health is very important to the team. On Monday, Miller’s whereabouts were unknown until head coach John Fox told the media after practice he was feeling funny Sunday night.

Rookie Leonard Floyd left practice early the first day of camp with an illness and was limited the next day. Then a few days later was limited with a shoulder injury. Was the illness just dehydration? NFL camp speed is a lot faster than college. Yes everyone needs an adjustment period but again, coaches and veterans were probably on the edge with Floyd missing so much time to start camp.

When I went down to Bears camp as a member of the media on August 1st, a lot of talk was on how many players have experienced cramping and dehydration. It was just a shock to everyone that so many are going down with these issues. One story I heard was that when he(newspaper reporter) was walking into lunch, a player literally collapsed with the full body cramp. What are guys doing after practice? I’d hope it’s been addressed because the Bears first game is in the Texas heat. That’s hot and the Bears have to be on their game with Brock Osewiler under center and possibly JJ Watt back from back surgery.

Kevin White missed yesterday because he was given a day off.  ESPN analyst and former NFL player Matt Bowen(@MattBowen41) has never seen a 2nd year player, who has never played a down in the NFL, get a day off in camp. White is not hurt, he needs to go everyday because he has a lot of catching up to do. Big shoes to fill and haters to quiet and prove he is the first round pick the Bears used on him.

It’s still unsure of how good this team is going to be. If injuries persist throughout the year, it could be an ugly show on turf. The Bears made a lot of additions to bolster their defense and offensive line last off-season to hopefully improve on last year’s no show in the playoffs. But looking at this team right now, sure they got the names and some talent, but are they good enough to make the postseason.

The offensive line is always in question. It is starting to take shape but Kyle Long missed time with a calf strain and still unsure of who will play center. The last thing Bear’s fans want to see if another shaky o-line in Chicago. Rookie Cody Whitehair has had a great camp but do you start him right away? Or do you give Hroniss Grasu another shot to handle the nose? All questions that will be addressed during the preseason because jobs are still up for grabs. It’s always a fight in the NFL, no matter how much you may be getting paid. But as I’m typing this, the news just keeps coming in…..

 

The next big question for the Bears is the secondary. Bears resigned Tracy Porter, only 1 interception in 2015, will lead a young secondary into action this season. Chris Prosinski is the oldest,31, but has been out of camp with an injury. Rookies Deiondre Hall, Deon Bush and 2nd year safety Adrian Amos are the other players who will see the field a lot this season.  A young secondary is going to give up a lot, especially going against QBs like Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck, and Eli Manning. Bush and Amos are standouts but Bush is known for his aggressiveness, not breaking on the ball in the air.  He’s been improving but the NFL is far from easy. While stopping the run may improve, the passing game looks like it will be a struggle a struggle for the Bears.

Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

 

The Bears first preseason game in August 11th vs. Denver Broncos. Starters will play one series while backups get all the reps. For rookies and bubbles guys, got to give it all you have if you want to make this team. On Sundays, you can only dress 46. You gotta  make plays, read you keys, and be a special teams killer if you want to run out of that tunnel on Sundays.  It’s that simple.

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