Chicago Bears Need Another Receiver to Step Up

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 10: Kendall Wright
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 10: Kendall Wright /

After suffering another season-ending injury at wide receiver, the Chicago Bears need someone to step up.

If there is an “In case of emergency, break glass” wide receiver the Chicago Bears have stashed away, it’s time to break the glass after losing another wide receiver for the season.  Former first round draft pick Kevin White will likely miss the season (shocker!) after suffering a broken scapula.  After losing last year’s most productive receiver Cameron Meredith in the third preseason

After losing last year’s most productive receiver Cameron Meredith in the third preseason game to a torn ACL, it’s tough sailing for a Bears wide receiver group which was already considered a weak spot on the roster.

More from Chicago Bears News

The targets in Sunday’s 23-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons certainly reflected the Bears woes at wide receiver.  Running back Tarik Cohen led the team with eight catches on 12 targets for 47 yards.  Next on the list was tight end Zach Miller with four catches on six targets.  The Bears leading wide receiver was Kendall Wright with three catches for 34 yards on his four targets.

The Bears will get Marcus Wheaton back from a broken finger in the next week or two, but he was sidelined almost the entire camp following an appendectomy.  How quickly can he get up to speed with the Bears offense?  Wheaton was brought in to help stretch the field with his speed, a much-needed dimension to the Bears offense.  Otherwise, head coach John Fox singled out Tre McBride, who the Bears claimed off waivers after final cuts from the Tennessee Titans. as an option for the Bears receiving corps.

Of course, training camp sensation Tanner Gentry is still on the practice squad, so he’s a possibility to come up and contribute at some point.  He has definitely shown the ability to go get the ball, but there have been some questions about his route running.

Related Story: Should the Bears Add Tanner Gentry to 53-man Roster?

If you look on the street, you won’t find much there.  Reports indicate the Bears will pick up Kevin White’s former college teammate Mario Alford.

Alford, at 5-8 and 177 pounds, won’t exactly provide a big target on the outside, but he was the second leading receiver on the Mountaineers team which White led.  Alford has 1 catch for 15 yards in four career games.  He had recently worked out for the Bears.

There aren’t many other exciting options on the street, with guys like Vincent Jackson, Victor Cruz, Eddie Royal, and Stevie Johnson, well past their prime.  Former Bears draft pick Marquess Wilson is available, but haven’t we seen that movie before?  Dorial Green-Beckham has a world of talent but seems to lack the motivation and discipline to do what’s necessary to stay on an NFL roster.

The Bears offense seems to have regressed to pre-Cutler era of dink and dunk check downs and a horizontal passing game, especially during the first half of the game.  They averaged just 4.4 yards per pass play, with only the Houston Texans worse among teams who played last week.

It will be up to offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains to create favorable matchups to get guys like Wright, Wheaton, Josh Bellamy and Deonte Thompson open.  It would also help to have a quarterback (cough, Trubisky, cough) who could extend plays with his feet and allow receivers to ad lib to get open when the initial play call is bottled up.

What do you think?  Who steps up to fill the Bears wide receiver void?  Will it be Cohen and the tight ends?  Can Marcus Wheaton or Kendall Wright provide a spark?  Is Tanner Gentry the answer?  Chime in in the Comments.