Fuller was the Bears first round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft and was taken 14th overall. Fuller, a cornerback from Virginia Tech, was someone who the Bears desperately needed to help fill the cornerback position. His first year in the league wasn’t that bad as he played in all 16 games recording 64 total tackles, ten passes defended and four interceptions. He was actually thought to have been one of the better rookie cornerbacks in the league that year.
The Bears had high hopes after his rookie season.
But things took a little bit of a twist in 2015 and his numbers were down. He had just 55 total tackles (he played in all 16 games), nine passes defended and two interceptions. Anyone who watched Fuller that year saw that he struggled covering the opponent’s top wide receiver. He was also guilty of three pass interference penalties on the season. Granted, sometimes that’s hard to control but these were seemingly “unnecessary” and clearly Fuller’s fault.
Then came the 2016 off-season when Fuller had a cleanup procedure done on his knee during the months prior to the 2016 season. As the season approached, the Bears realized that he wasn’t going to be ready for the start of the year so they placed him on injured reserve. They had the option to activate him later in the season. But when it came time to activate him, he wasn’t ready to play and he ended up missing the entire season.
Fuller was called out by defensive coordinator Vic Fangio for his “desire”, or lack thereof, to get back on the field and play. Some seem to think that he didn’t want to go back and play in 2016. They think he wasn’t motivated. Others point to the fact that he wasn’t fully healed from his surgery when it was time to come off of injured reserve. Therefore he missed the rest of the season as a result.
He will now enter his fourth season in the league. Will he be healthy enough to play in 2017? If he does play, will he be effective?
There is now talk of possibly moving Fuller to safety. The move could be a good one if he can hold up and the Bears need help at the position. Stay tuned.
This will be a huge year for Fuller. If he can’t play or play well then his career in Chicago will be over when the season is done. If he ends up coming back from his injury and plays well then he could earn himself a spot on the roster next season and another contract in the future.