Despite cutting the team’s roster down to 53 players, Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace’s search for talent continues into the regular season.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Bears have kicked the tires on a handful of receivers and defensive backs ahead of the team’s Week 1 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. It’s likely that injury and depth concerns at both positions played a role in Tuesday’s tryout invitation to Halas Hall.
And to be sure, the Bears were already thin on talent, upside, and healthy-ish bodies at receiver before Cameron Meredith suffered a season-ending ACL injury. And even though the team revamped the secondary in the offseason, Deiondre’ Hall is starting the year on injured reserve (but has a designation to return at some point) and the status of Prince Amukamara’s ankle is still unknown. If you’ll recall, Amukamara was one of the five Bears who left the team’s preseason win against the Tennessee Titans because of an injury – he was hurt on the team’s first defensive play from scrimmage and never returned.
Among the invitees, Biggs highlights Alex Carter as the player with the highest profile. Carter was a third-round pick (80th overall) by the Detroit Lions in the 2015 NFL Draft, but has been waived as part of Detroit’s final roster cuts in each of the last two seasons. Carter played cornerback at Stanford, but the Lions tried to convert him to safety this summer.
Alex’s father Tom played in the NFL from 1993 to 2001, including a 32-game stint with the Bears from 1997 to 1999.
Carter was joined in tryouts by fellow defensive backs Dante Blackmon (Colts), Brian Dixon (Jaguars), and Damian Swann (Saints); as well as receivers Mario Alford (Browns), Montay Crockett (Packers), Frankie Hammond (Jets), and Darreus Rogers (Seahawks).