The first two weeks of camp will culminate Friday with the preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, but there are already clear winners and losers for the Chicago Bears. With the latter coming after what transpired Monday and early Tuesday, let’s get down to it.
Kelvin Hayden, CB
After missing the entire 2013 season with a hamstring injury, Hayden came into camp under pressure to make a strong impression. Early on, he has done just that. On opening weekend, he intercepted quarterback Jay Cutler and forced a fumble from wide receiver Michael Spurlock.
Although he is focusing on making the best of the opportunity he has been given so far in camp, there is no doubt he wants to get back to pre-injury form in 2012 when he tied for the NFL lead in fumble recoveries (4) and had 40 tackles, one interception and three pass breakups.
Adrian Wilson, S
After spending 12 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals and earning five trips to the Pro Bowl in that span, Wilson missed all of last season while dealing with Haglund’s deformity. In layman’s terms, it is a bony enlargement that rubs against the Achilles’ tendon. There was speculation that he did indeed tear his Achilles’ last year, but Wilson has denied that report.
He has impressed defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, who said he has worked very hard to learn the system. The Bears would not have brought him in unless he still had gas left in the tank, so this stretch of training camp heading into Friday’s opener against the Eagles will be key for Wilson.
Martellus Bennett, TE
Scuffles in training camp happen; it’s hot, and players are competing for roster spots. With that being said, fights that include moves that belong in the wrestling ring have no place on a football field. First-round pick Kyle Fuller attempted to jar the ball loose from Bennett, but he ended up catching the underside of the tight end’s shoulder pads, bringing him down to the ground.
Instead of popping up and heading back to the huddle, he popped up and body-slammed Fuller to the ground. It took several players to break up the fight, and Bennett continued to be upset long after practice completed for the day. It came out Tuesday morning that Bennett has been suspended indefinitely and fined an undisclosed amount. Whether or not the tight end deserves a suspension is up in the air, but his actions Monday went too far.
Marquess Wilson, WR
High hopes surrounded Wilson coming into this offseason, as he was the heavy favorite to win the No.3 WR job. He impressed and started to pull away from the rest of the pack, but suffered a broken right collarbone early Tuesday on a diving grab in the end zone. According to undrafted WR Greg Herd’s alma mater, Eastern Washington University, the 6-3, 202-pound Herd has signed with the team to help fill the void. Herd spent time on the Seattle Seahawks a year ago before getting injured.