The Bear Goggles On Countdown to Kickoff series is now underway for the second season in a row. With 85 days to go until the Bears season kicks off we will highlight the Bears player that is wearing number 83, tight end, MyCole Pruitt.
At this point last year, Pruitt was on the Minnesota Vikings. In fact, Pruitt has played 245 career offensive snaps in his career, and all but 18 came on the Vikings. Pruitt was drafted by the Vikings in 2015. He was active for all 16 games, but mainly played on special teams.
In 2016, Pruitt spent two games on the Vikings before being waived. He made his way to the practice squad and spent most of his season there. However, as the Bears tight end situation continually got more and more bleak, the team signed Pruitt off of the practice squad. Pruitt played the last two games with the Bears, although he only played 18 offensive snaps, and 10 special teams snaps. Pruitt did not do much, but it was enough for the Bears to bring him back to training camp for another season.
Pruitt will be fighting for his roster life. The only reason Pruitt made the was because of an array of injuries, and even then he was just a depth player. In the meantime the team drafted Adam Shaheen and signed Dion Sims.
Zach Miller will likely make the team if healthy, but his health status seems to continually be up in the air. This means that for Ben Braunecker and Pruitt there is a chance to make the team. The Bears could carry four tight ends, and one of the two can make it. They could also keep three tight ends and a hybrid tight end player in Daniel Brown. They could even just keep three tight ends.
At the very least Pruitt will have to beat out Braunecker to make the team, and he may need some luck to pull out a roster spot this summer.
Future with the Bears
If Pruitt does not make the roster, he does have practice squad eligibility. The team could try to keep him there for one more season. Pruitt would still be a restricted free agent next season. At this point that appears to be the most likely outcome. If he does make the roster, there is a chance that he could earn himself an extension. However, it would still take some injuries to others to get him on the field. This is a major year for Pruitt in terms of earning himself some financial security, so be on the lookout for the number 83 in training camp this summer.