Finally, some good news to report regarding the banged up Chicago Bears’ receivers room.
Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic reports wide receiver Markus Wheaton was a full participant in practice on Wednesday, marking the first time he has been all-systems-go during the regular season. In fact, it’s Wheaton’s first full practice since training camp. This is a major sign of progress and a step toward Wheaton returning to the starting lineup on Sunday for the Bears’ Week 3 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Wheaton has been out of action since breaking a pinkie finger during the last open practice of training camp, which has since been surgically repaired. The injury came after Wheaton missed practice time due to an emergency appendectomy. It appeared as if Wheaton could have made a sooner-than-expected return before that possibility was derailed by the broken finger.
If Wheaton returns to game action on Sunday, he’ll be a welcome addition to a receivers room in search of healthy bodies and productivity. The Bears signed Wheaton to a two-year deal in the offseason with the idea of using him as a deep threat. In 2015, Wheaton averaged 17 yards per catch and gained a little more than 14 yards per reception during his four-year career with the Steelers.
That’s as good as the news gets for the Bears, who had four players who did not participate and six others listed as limited.
Six players were listed as limited, including five starters. Left guard Kyle Long (ankle), cornerback Prince Amukamara (ankle), and Jordan Howard (shoulder) have company with defensive end Akiem Hicks (shoulder) and receiver Kendall Wright (shoulder) as new additions to the injury report. If you’ll recall, Wright walked off the field during the Bears’ last offensive drive of the first half favoring his arm, but returned to play in the second half and finished with a team-best 69 receiving yards. Hicks received medical attention from Bears trainers when he was slow to get up in the fourth quarter, but did not miss much game action.
Running back and return specialist Benny Cunningham was also limited with an ankle injury. He missed the Week 2 loss completely and was among the Bears’ inactives. Safety Deon Bush was the other Bears player who was listed as a full participant. Bush was out of action on Sunday while nursing a hamstring injury.
Offensive linemen Tom Compton (hip) and Josh Sitton (rib), as well as linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (pectoral) were among those who did not practice at all on Wednesday. Compton, Sitton, and Kwiatkoski were all injured during the Bears’ lopsided Week 2 loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Quarterback Mark Sanchez (neck) also showed up on the injury report for the first time during the regular season. That would help explain why quarterbacks Garrett Grayson and Bart Houston were among the 16 players who attended Tuesday’s tryouts at Halas Hall.
Here is a full look at Wednesday’s injury report:
- Full participation: WR Markus Wheaton (finger), S Deon Bush (hamstring)
- Limited participation: CB Prince Amukamara (ankle), RB Benny Cunningham (ankle), DE Akiem Hicks (shoulder), RB Jordan Howard (shoulder), LG Kyle Long (ankle), WR Kendall Wright (shoulder)
- Did not participate: OL Tom Compton (hip), LB Nick Kwiatkoski (pectoral), QB Mark Sanchez (neck), RG Josh Sitton (rib)