Chicago Bears wide receiver Markus Wheaton has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers, marking the fourth time in seven games in which the wide receiver will be sidelined due to an injury.
The Bears signed Wheaton hoping he could eat up some snaps left behind by Alshon Jeffery and provide a vertical threat in the passing game. Unfortunately, there haven’t been many opportunities to see where Wheaton fits in the offense because injuries have made him unavailable for most of the season. It’s been a tough-luck year for the 26-year-old receiver, who has missed time because of an emergency appendectomy, a broken finger, and now a groin issue.
If you’ll recall, Wheaton was expected to miss 4-6 weeks after injuring his groin at practice. So it’s likely he’ll be out a while. That means Tanner Gentry and Tre McBride are likely to get another round of extended looks at wide receivers. Gentry, who was dealing with a hip injury earlier in the week, has been a full participant each of the last two days of practice and played on 95 percent of the team’s offensive snaps against the Baltimore Ravens. McBride has played more than 70 percent of the team’s snaps in each of the last two weeks.
Linebacker John Timu (ankle, knee) and special teams ace/cornerback Sherrick McManis (hamstring) were listed as doubtful on the team’s Friday injury report. Center Hroniss Grasu (hand), linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (chest), and running back Benny Cunningham (hamstring) were listed as questionable.