It’s college football Saturday, and Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus breaks down the biggest need for every team heading into the 2018 NFL lead.
“After dealing with injuries and inconsistency at wide receiver the last few years, the Bears will be in the market to add weapons for QB Mitchell Trubisky this offseason. It could be a year in which they throw multiple resources at the position, from free agency to trade options to the draft. As for the draft, there is not a clear-cut No. 1 receiver, though Alabama’s Calvin Ridley would add a deep threat with No. 1 receiver potential if he’s available.”
Finding a receiver in the draft has been on our radar since mock NFL Drafts for 2018 started rolling in. As for Calvin Ridley, the Bears could do worse at the position. The Unguardable Mr. Ridley was recently mocked to the Bears, which would be a pleasant surprise as far as NFL Drafts have gone for the Bears.
- It’s almost as if Nick Kwiatkoski is back to square one, as Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times writes the linebacker is out to prove himself again. The second-year LB was ready to step into the starting role vacated by an injured Jerrell Freeman, but Kwiatkoski suffered a pectoral injury of his own that put him on the inactive list. Kwiatkoski played his first game action since his injury in Week 8 when he played 23 special teams snaps and one defensive play.
- Kwiatkoski better stay on his toes because he could be called into action at a moment’s notice. Remember, Danny Trevathan didn’t practice in the days leading up to Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers. So even though he was listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report, Trevathan could be forced to miss Sunday’s game. We know little about Trevathan’s status, but Kwiatkoski and Christian Jones have both started games this season. The same can be said about John Timu, who was a full participant in practice all week. Timu suffered a high-ankle sprain in the team’s Week 5 loss against the Minnesota Vikings and has been inactive since.
- Quarterback Mitch Trubisky won’t be the only offensive player who will be singing the defense’s praises if the offense starts with a short field. Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune writes the Bears are seeking consistency from kicker Connor Barth, particularly from long distance. Barth has connected on just 73.5 percent of kicks since joining the Bears, but his most discouraging numbers come from deep. The veteran kicker has made just 5 of 9 attempts between 40-49 yards and only 2 of 5 from 50 or deeper. Chicago’s offense is already operating with a thin margin of error, so it’s quite painful when the kicker isn’t cashing in on the rare opportunities he is missing. The Bears have brought in players to provide some semblance of competition, but the team has yet to make a move.
- Brent Sobbeski of Bleacher Report put together AFC and NFC Pro Bowl rosters through one half of the season. Even though the Bears have just three wins, Sobleski has them representing with two players. Running back Jordan Howard and safety Adrian Amos make the cut as two of the to players at their respective positions. Howard is a top-5 running back for the second straight season, while Amos seems to have turned a corner in his development. The two can work in tandem on Sunday to bring the Bears a rare win against the Packers. If Chicago’s defense can keep the Bears offense from starting deep in their own territory, they’ll be better off than what they were against Green Bay in Week 4.
- The Packers entered 2017 with great expectations, but an injury to Aaron Rodgers seems to have cast a cloud over everything. Some could be easily convinced Rodgers is some kind of one-man show, but Green Bay is out to prove that simply isn’t the case. On the other hand, expectations remain high, but for how much longer?
- After beating the Packers in Week 9, the Detroit Lions are riding a bit of a high and look to be ready to receive some more good news. To make room for the tackle who will be coming off injured reserve, the Lions parted ways with Greg Robinson. A former first-round pick by the St. Louis Rams, Robinson never lived up to his draft status. He started the team’s first six games, but has missed the last two with an ankle injury.