The Chicago Bears have been cautious with their second-round pick Adam Shaheen. Now with the loss of Zach Miller, it is time to play the rookie.
The loss of Zach Miller for the rest of the season with a gruesome injury is devastating. The injury, the play, the fact that it happened to a player who has fought through so many other injuries to get to this point. It combined to be an awful scene all around.
However, this is the next man up world, and the game did not end when Miller left the field. The Bears turned to Daniel Brown to fill in for the snaps that Miller would have played the rest of the way. Brown finished with a nine-yard reception. While this move made sense, the Bears have to start going to Adam Shaheen in this role moving forward.
It makes sense to throw Brown out in the heat of the battle because that’s what it really is. Throwing a rookie in cold, who has not been preparing for a bigger role, and may not be ready for the moment would not only hurt his confidence but the teams play.
Now, the Bears have two weeks to adjust to this. They have two weeks to involve Shaheen in the offense and get him ready to make plays in the passing game. The Bears are ninth in the NFL in running two tight end sets. When they signed Dion Sims and drafted Shaheen it was clear what they wanted in the future. Sims is the blocker, and Shaheen the pass catcher who would unseat Miller. It came faster than expected, but it is time for Shaheen.
The Bears are 3-5. As fun as some of the playoff talk of last week was, this is a team building momentum for 2018, not a postseason run. They are seeing growing pains with Trubisky and the offense in general. It is time to throw in another rookie, and let the young corps of Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, Trubisky, and Shaheen begin to form chemistry. The worst thing that can happen is we learn how far away Shaheen is. The best that can happen is that Shaheen blows up, we see the baby-Gronk hype, and he is a fantasy sleeper heading into a hyped up 2018 season. It is time to play Adam Shaheen, see what you have.