The Bears are two weeks into training camp, and the injuries have started to mount. Notably, the wide receiver group can’t seem to catch a break.
Veteran receivers N’Keal Harry and David Moore have suffered long-term injuries and will miss multiple weeks. Another veteran, Byron Pringle, is dealing with a quad injury, and it’s unknown when he’ll return.
Rookie Velus Jones Jr. has also missed multiple practices and is “day-to-day” with an undisclosed injury.
Given there are multiple receivers with long-term or unknown injuries, the Bears should consider signing additional players for depth. Here are six free agents they should consider.
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Spencer is a former Denver Bronco that was an All-Star in the CFL. With a 4.39 40-yard dash, he brings the speed the Bears want and is a return specialist. His receiving stats aren’t exciting. However, as a returner, he averaged 9.8 yards on punt returns and 21.4 yards on kick returns. Spencer would allow other receivers like Jones and Pringle to save their legs and focus on offense.
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Westbrook fits the mold of the Bears’ 2022 free agent wide receivers. He was a collegiate star and has struggled to find a home in the NFL. Injuries derailed his rookie year in 2017, and he tore his ACL in 2020. Another speedster (4.39) looking for a home, Westbrook could be a great fit.
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Recently cut from the 49ers, Mack is a tall, fast (4.47) rookie wide receiver who could provide depth for the Bears. In college, he was a willing and capable run-blocker with the skill set to play in the slot and on the perimeter.
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A recent cut from the Raiders, rookie Tre Turner offers speed, versatility, and depth to the Bears’ offense. At Virginia Tech, Turner played outside, in the slot, and spent time in the backfield – he can do it all. He’s also a willing blocker on the perimeter.
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Another undrafted rookie, Smart, was cut by the Cardinals after receiving an invite to training camp. Unlike the other options, Smart isn’t a speedster. Instead, the former Hawaii wide receiver is a possession receiver with great ability for picking up yards after the catch. His game is similar to Doug Baldwin’s – tenacious, sure-handed, and underappreciated.
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Lenoir was an undrafted rookie out of Southern Illinois and lasted only four days on the Bears roster. However, assuming he wasn’t cut for off-field concerns, maybe the Bears will bring him back for roster depth.