The Chicago Bears aren’t going to address anyone’s injury situations until the team is required to do so on Wednesday, but this list from the Chicago Tribune’s Rich Campbell raises some eyebrows, to say the least:
Bears absent from practice Monday:
WR Markus Wheaton
— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) November 6, 2017
Markus Wheaton’s presence at practice is an encouraging sign for the injury-plagued receiver who is currently recovering from a groin injury that was expected to keep him out 4-6 weeks.
Wheaton signed a two-year contract as a free agent in the offseason, but has played in just three of the team’s first eight games. He hasn’t been much of a factor either, receiving just nine targets, and hauling in only one catch that went for four yards. The Bears brought Wheaton into their receiver mix hoping he would be a threat to stretch the field vertically, as he did at times with the Pittsburgh Steelers (he averaged 14.1 yards per catch during his 47-game stint). But he has battled various injuries since the start of training camp.
The road to steady playing time for Wheaton is a bit unclear with the arrival of Dontrelle Inman and the surprisingly effective play from Tre McBride III. Still, Wheaton figures to be a factor. He did receive more than 75 percent of the team’s offensive snaps in his last healthy game.
Wheaton is expected to speak with reporters later this week, according to ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson. It will be interesting to hear how much light he shines on his latest injury and what the timetable for his return looks like.
Meanwhile, linebacker Danny Trevathan and tight end Dion Sims, starters at their respective positions, were not at Monday’s practice. Slot cornerback Bryce Callahan and reserve offensive lineman Tom Compton joined them in being missing in action on Monday.
Head Coach John Fox refused to offer up a reason why any of those players weren’t available. Again, the Bears aren’t obligated to do so until Wednesday, so I wouldn’t expect them to share anything the NFL doesn’t make them to until the league forces them to do so. No harm, no foul if they’re back at practice on Wednesday. But if the Bears have any important players show up on the week’s first injury report, we’ll have something to dive into in the middle of the week.