Shark Bites

Bears rookie RB Tarik Cohen started Saturday night's game against the Cardinals after Jordan Howard suffered an eye injury Friday. Cohen capitalized by gaining 77 yards on 11 carries. He's now averaging 6.4 yards per rush through 2 preseason outings and looks like the #2 RB behind Howard. That makes Cohen an intriguing later-round handcuff or standalone pick in your fantasy football draft. Despite standing just 5-foot-6, Cohen has displayed the ability to run between the tackles. The 4th-round pick also produced Darren Sproles-level college tape as a workhorse at North Carolina A&T.

Bears QB Mike Glennon rebounded statistically in Saturday's 2nd preseason game, including a TD pass to WR Kendall Wright late in the 2nd quarter. But that followed a drive-killing, 1st-quarter INT in the red zone and another pass that should have been picked. Glennon finished 13-of-18 for 80 yards -- better than his 2-of-9 1st outing. Rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky, meanwhile, again followed #2 QB Mark Sanchez into the game. Trubisky completed 6 of 8 passes for 60 yards and a TD to Benny Cunningham. Trubisky also avoided an INT on a ball that should have been picked. We'll see if anything changes with the QB order in the "dress rehearsal" 3rd preseason game, but Chicago looks like it'll head into the year with a shaky Glennon under center.

Bears RB Jordan Howard suffered a minor eye injury in Friday's walkthrough and is not expected to play Saturday, NFL Network reports. We'll see if it lingers, but there seems no reason to worry about his fantasy outlook.

Bears WR Kevin White had a disappointing training camp, according to the Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Potash. "At this point it remains to be seen if White still has the speed and other skills that made him the No. 7 pick of the 2015 draft. We just don’t see it out there," Potash writes. The former 1st-rounder went catch-less in Chicago's preseason opener. White retains theoretical upside thanks to his size/athleticism combination and opportunity in Chicago, but we've yet to see or hear anything this summer to suggest that he'll cash in on it.

The Bears have claimed K Roberto Aguayo. We'll see if the 2016 2nd-rounder can figure things out in Chicago, where he'll compete with K Connor Barth for a job. It's a situation to avoid in fantasy drafts right now.

Bears WR Markus Wheaton fractured his left pinkie during Sunday's practice, HC John Fox said. He fractured the same finger back in 2013, had surgery and missed 4 games. It's unclear how long he'll be sidelined this time -- or if he'll simply play through it. Wheaton was limited in spring workouts coming off shoulder surgery and missed the first couple of weeks of training camp after undergoing an appendectomy. Kendall Wright operated as Chicago's #3 WR with Wheaton sidelined for the preseason opener.

The Bucs have released K Robert Aguayo -- just a little more than a year after spending a 2nd-round pick on him. Aguayo connected on just 71% of his FG attempts and missed a pair of XPs as a rookie. Then he missed a FG and an XP in Friday's preseason opener. Nick Folk is now in line to handle kicking duties in Tampa this season.

Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky connected on 18 of 25 attempts for 166 yards, 1 TD and 0 INTs in his preseason debut against the Broncos on Thursday night. He added 38 yards on 3 carries -- a reminder of his underrated athleticism. All of Trubisky's work came with backups. QB Mike Glennon worked with the starters ... and completed 2 of 8 passes with a pick-6. A few more nights like this and Chicago's plan to redshirt Trubisky this season will go up in flames. We're expecting the rookie to make multiple starts this year.

Bears WR Markus Wheaton had an appendectomy this past weekend, he told NFL Network's Stacey Dales. He's expected to be sidelined another 2 weeks. Wheaton will be back in plenty of time for Week 1, but the missed practice time won't help a new face trying to carve out a role in Chicago. Wheaton isn't worth rostering outside of deep best-ball leagues. We'll see if Victor Cruz or Kendall Wright can take advantage of Wheaton's absence. Cameron Meredith and Kevin White are in line to open the season as the Bears' top 2 WRs.

Bears WR Cameron Meredith (thumb) has avoided the PUP list and was on the field for the team's 1st training camp practice on Thursday. He injured a thumb ligament on June 1 but is evidently good to go now. Meredith seems to have a starting spot secured after last year's impressive 66-catch, 888-yard campaign. He's a fine value at his 8th-round price tag.

The Bears' plan is to start QB Mike Glennon all season, according to insider Rich Campbell. It makes sense, at least in theory. Chicago is paying Glennon $18.5 million guaranteed, while rookie Mitchell Trubisky enters the league after making just 13 college starts. Campbell also insinuated that the 1st-rounder struggled in spring practices. Of course, the calls for the rook will be loud if Glennon struggles at all. We're still betting on Trubisky making starts this year, but he's not worth a roster spot in redraft leagues. (Neither is Glennon, outside of 2-QB leagues.)

The Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs says "don't be surprised" if TE Zach Miller doesn't crack the Bears' final roster. This actually makes plenty of sense. The Bears are rebuilding on offense and might not want to give snaps to an injury-prone 32-year-old. They also gave $10 million guaranteed to TE Dion Sims in free agency and drafted TE Adam Shaheen in the 2nd round of this year's draft. The team is also high on TE Daniel Brown, according to Biggs. This is a group to stay away from in fantasy drafts right now.

Bears RB Jordan Howard said he wants to shed a little weight for his 2nd season. He told the Chicago Sun-Times that he plans to play at "like 225 pounds" this season. He weighed 230 at the 2016 Scouting Combine and reportedly played last year in the 230s. We're not worried about slightly less weight hurting his power, and we'll see whether a streamlined Howard gains any speed. The biggest positive here is that Howard's already focused on his conditioning -- an area many players fail to grasp early in their careers. He's a top RB pick for 2017 fantasy football drafts.

Bears WR Cameron Meredith suffered a thumb ligament injury in Thursday's OTA session, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Meredith will miss the rest of spring workouts but is expected to be ready for the start of training camp. As long as that's the case, this won't impact his 2017 fantasy outlook. Meredith led the Bears with 66 catches, 888 yards and 4 TDs last year and has a shot to serve as the #1 WR this season.

Bears WR Kevin White is "back to full speed," according to the Chicago Tribune's Rich Campbell. White has missed 28 of 32 games over his first 2 NFL seasons with leg injuries. He spent the early portion of this offseason reteaching himself to run with proper alignment and technique, per Campbell. But White's now on to sharpening his route running. "We've been working on that hard, some of his breaking-point stuff," WRs coach Zach Azzanni said. "A lot of times when you're a big guy like that, stopping and change of direction is hard." White remains a major question mark but has tons of opportunity in 2017 on a Bears team without an established #1 WR. He's a fine shot to take at his current 12th-round ADP.

2:33pm EDT 5/25/17

The Bears and WR Victor Cruz have agreed to a 1-year deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Chicago has a lot of names at WR but no sure things: Cameron Meredith, Kevin White, Kendall Wright, Markus Wheaton and Reuben Randle. There's opportunity here. But Cruz is 30 now and has struggled returning from his 2014 torn patellar tendon. We're not banking on him emerging as a fantasy factor in what figures to be a run-heavy Bears offense.

The Bears added North Carolina A&T RB Tarik Cohen in the 4th round of the draft. Cohen ran for 1,100+ yards in all 4 of his college seasons -- and 1,500+ in each of the last 2. He also totaled 97 catches over the past 4 years. Cohen boasts 4.4 speed and some of the nastiest cuts you'll see from a RB in this year's class. He goes just 5'6 and 179 pounds, so he'll never be a feature back at the NFL level. But Cohen could quickly carve out a change-of-pace role behind Jordan Howard.

The Bears nabbed Ashland TE Adam Shaheen with the 45th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. Shaheen becomes the 4th player in NFL history drafted from Ashland. He dominated there, totaling 127 catches, 1,670 yards and 26 TDs over the past 2 seasons. Then he proved he belongs in the NFL by testing as a 68th percentile athlete for his position. The 6’6, 278-pounder clocked a 4.79-second 40 time — impressive for such a big dude — and was even better with a 121-inch broad jump and 7.09-second 3-cone. Shaheen joins QB Mitchell Trubisky in Chicago but is a long shot for 2017 fantasy value. We’ll see if the Bears hang on to TE Zach Miller after adding TE Dion Sims in free agency.

Bears GM Ryan Pace did the obligatory on Friday, calling veteran QB Mike Glennon his team's starter. "Mitch is here to develop," Pace said of the man he traded up a spot in Thursday night's 1st round to secure. We buy this more than the Texans saying Tom Savage will start in 2017. Glennon has at least had some NFL success and will make $16 million this year. Trubisky is clearly Chicago's future, though, and we'd still bet on him making starts at some point this season.

The Bears traded up 1 spot to #2 overall to select North Carolina QB Mitchell Trubisky. The 22-year-old sat behind Marquise Williams in his first 2 years at Chapel Hill and has just 13 college starts under his belt — the fewest for any 1st-round QB in the last 10 years. He was impressive in 2016, though, completing 68% of his passes with 30 TDs and just 6 INTs. The film shows nice accuracy and plenty of arm strength. Trubisky is also a plus athlete, registering a 68th percentile SPARQ score. The inexperience is the biggest concern, especially considering North Carolina ran a shotgun-heavy scheme. In Chicago, he could sit a year behind QB Mike Glennon, who signed what's essentially a 1-year deal with the Bears in free agency. Trubisky is a strong favorite to be under center by 2018, when he figures to be throwing to WRs Kevin White and Cameron Meredith.

 
 
 

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