Receiver Tanner Gentry popped up on the Chicago Bears injury report with a hip injury just days after playing 95 percent of the offensive snaps in the team’s 27-24 overtime win against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6. But the good news is that Gentry returned to practice Thursday as a full participant.
Here is a look at the rest of Thursday’s injury report, courtesy of The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain:
Bears Thursday injury report
DNP: Wheaton, Timu, McManis
Limited: Cunningham, Grasu, Kwiatkoski
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) October 19, 2017
An injury that would have knocked Gentry out of action would have come at a bad time for the undrafted free agent rookie from Wyoming, who was finally getting a shot at significant playing time after Markus Wheaton’s groin injury. Like a yo-yo, Gentry has gone from up on the active roster and down to the practice squad, only to come back up again as the Bears search for any type of playmaker on the outside. Whether or not he’ll continue to get that much playing time remains to be seen, but at least he’s healthy enough to give it ago.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for three Bears who did not practice at all on Thursday. Wheaton was joined by linebacker John Timu (ankle) and cornerback/special teams stud Sherrick McManis (hamstring) as non participants. Timu started in Week 5 against the Minnesota Vikings, but suffered a high ankle sprain and was expected to be out 4-6 weeks. McManis was injured during punt coverage in the team’s Week 6 win. The Bears’ special teams unit struggled without him, giving up two return touchdowns that gave the Ravens life and helped the team ultimately force overtime.
Wheaton, Timu, and McManis are not expected to play, according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune. However, Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio believes cornerback Marcus Cooper will get more playing time this week against the Carolina Panthers. Cooper missed the Vikings game with a back problem and played just six snaps – all on special teams – against the Ravens.
Running back/kick returner Benny Cunningham remained as a limited participant for the second straight practice. Cunningham tweaked his hamstring during Sunday’s game against the Ravens, which led to Tarik Cohen stepping into the lead kick returner role and Eddie Jackson fielding some punts. Linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (chest) and center Hroniss Grasu (hand) remain limited in practice.