One of Mitch Trubisky’s most reliable receivers at North Carolina was invited for tryouts on Tuesday at Halas Hall.
According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears hosted 16 players for tryouts, which includes defensive lineman Mike Purcell who was signed to the practice squad earlier in the afternoon. That brings their tryout list through three weeks to 29 players.
HOWEVER, one of the low-key intriguing names among the group is Bug Howard, who played with Trubisky at North Carolina.
Howard, listed at 6-4, 214 pounds, was an All-ACC honorable mention in 2016 when he caught 53 catches for 827 yards and a team-leading eight touchdowns. His 18 touchdown receptions ranks sixth all-time in school history. Howard was signed by the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent on May 3, but waived on September 2 as the team trimmed its roster to 53.
The Bears released Tanner Gentry on Tuesday, and he was one of Trubisky’s favorite training camp and preseason targets. Since the Bears have numerous holes at receiver, it couldn’t hurt to bring a big-bodied target in for a tryout who is familiar and comfortable with the rookie quarterback.
Howard was one of six receivers who spent time at Halas Hall on Tuesday. That group included Marlon Brown (38 games with the Ravens from 2013 to 2015) and Kyle Prater, who was an All-American at Proviso West High School in Hillside, Ill., started his college career at USC, eventually landed at Northwestern, and signed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2015.
The Bears also invited a pair of linebackers with NFL experience. Carl Bradford played six games with the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers in 2016, while Shayne Skov played 24 games with San Francisco in 2015 and 2016. Chicago could be without inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski for an extended period after injuring a pectoral muscle in Sunday’s loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
And hey, maybe the Chicago Bears looking at quarterbacks Garrett Grayson and Bart Houston suggests the team won’t stand pat at quarterback after all.are not going to stand pat at quarterback after all. Or maybe the team is in search of a practice squad signal caller, seeing that it hasn’t had one since parting ways with Connor Shaw.
The full list of invites is as follows:
- Quarterbacks (2): Garrett Grayson, Bart Houston
- Wide receivers (6): Bug Howard, Kyle Prater, Marlon Brown, Tevanu Smith, Daniel Williams, James Wright
- Tight end (1): D.J. Tialavea
- Offensive tackle (1): Givens Price
- Center (1): Mark Spelman
- Defensive lineman (3): Nick Williams, Stefan Charles, Mike Purcell
- Linebackers (2): Carl Bradford, Shayne Skov