20 Days Until Chicago Bears 2017 Season Kicks Off: Prince Amukamara

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 6: Jacksonville Jaguars teammates Tashaun Gipson
KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 6: Jacksonville Jaguars teammates Tashaun Gipson /

The Bear Goggles on Countdown to Kickoff series is now underway for the second season in a row. With 20 days to go until the Bears’ season kicks off, we will highlight the Bears’ player that is wearing number 20, Prince Amukamara.

2016 Review

Amukamara is starting to become a journeyman at cornerback. He came into the league back in 2011 when he was drafted by the New York Giants. Last season he ended up in Jacksonville. Amukamara played in 14 games with the Jaguars in 2016 recording 49 total tackles with 46 of those being solo and three assisted. He defended six passes to add to his statistics.

Amukamara played both the right and left cornerback positions in 2016 and average. He was in for a total of 871 defensive snaps in 2016.  He missed two games due to injury, a common theme in his NFL career. During his time in the league, Amukamara has had only one season where he has played in all 16 games.

2017 Outlook

The Bears signed Amukamara as a free agent in March of this year. They gave him a one-year deal worth $3,500,000 with a signing bonus of the same amount. Cutting him isn’t going to happen.  If he isn’t on the roster, he’s going to be on injured reserve.

Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears /

Chicago Bears

Reports out of training camp say that Amukamara was consistent and had a good camp. He started the first preseason game at cornerback and saw some reps. He registered two tackles in that game. In camp, it was observed that Amukamara could cover well as he was able to keep up with the Bears’ receivers, for the most part. There were other times he struggled. Still, there was more good than bad with him.

In the past, Amukamara has been bitten by the injury bug and he was “bitten” again last Monday the on the Bears’ last day of practice at Bourbonnais. He suffered a hamstring injury and is currently limited in practice. The injury doesn’t appear to be too serious and he will miss limited time. This is not good for his development with the Bears’ defense but he’s a seasoned pro and should be able to adapt. The coaching staff and fans will hope this doesn’t happen on a regular basis.

If Amukamara heals well from his hamstring injury and doesn’t get hurt again in the preseason, he will start at one of the cornerback spots. The coaching staff likes his experience and he has shown that he is one the best of the bunch. Chicago will have a nice backfield tandem with Amukamara and Marcus Cooper and they should be effective. But Amukamara must hold up. He has not been able to do that consistently.

With him in the lineup, the Bears will have a solid but not spectacular player to help them keep opponents passing games in check.

Next: Quintin Demps profile

Future with the Bears

Remember that the Bears signed Amukamara to a one-year deal so he needs to perform well to get another contract. If he misses any time this season he will not get another contract. But if he’s able to hold up, play well and stay healthy, the Bears will bring him back again.

Amukamara is still an effective cornerback with a lot of talent and has at least two to three more seasons left in him if he doesn’t suffer a major injury. He has the knowledge and ability to play the position. He’s just not as dynamic as he used to be. The key is he still can play.

If Amukamara plays at least more than ten games this season, the Bears will consider bringing him back.  And they should. If he misses a lot of time then the Bears will move on and Amukamara will have to move on as well.