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updated: 8/5/2014 9:02 PM

Bears to hold open auditions for receiver

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  • The Bears' Josh Morgan, right, has been thrust into the spotlight as a possible third receiver following the injury to Marquess Wilson

      The Bears' Josh Morgan, right, has been thrust into the spotlight as a possible third receiver following the injury to Marquess Wilson
    Associated Press

 
 

BOURBONNAIS -- Marquess Wilson was the leading contender to fill the No. 3 receiver role behind Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. But Wilson's fractured clavicle, which was surgically repaired Tuesday morning, leaves that spot up for grabs.

Another wide receiver was added to the roster Tuesday night when the Bears signed Greg Herd, a first-year player from Eastern Washington who was on the Philadelphia Eagles' practice squad last year.

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Performances in Friday night's preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field will impact the depth chart moving forward.

"We need them to get lined up right, know where to go, be in the right place and catch the ball against the competition they're facing," said Bears coach Marc Trestman. "With Marquess out, they're getting (practice) reps against guys that are ones, and that's a good thing."

Of the contenders to fill the void left by Wilson's injury, only Josh Morgan has much of a track record as an NFL pass catcher. In 2012, with Washington, he had 48 catches for 510 yards, while starting 15 games. In 2009-10, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Morgan caught 96 passes for 1,225 yards while starting 26 games for the San Francisco 49ers.

But Trestman isn't ready yet to give Morgan an edge.

"He has his moments, just like each and every one of them do," Trestman said. "Once he figures it out, he's on it. Really, that's all I can say in that regard."

Eric Weems has already been with the Bears for two years, but he has just 3 receptions for 35 yards. Most of his contributions have come on special teams.

"Weems has had a great camp, as have a number of other guys," quarterback Jay Cutler said. "Right now it's a little bit too early to peg anybody. We'll just see how it plays out."

Making up ground:

Jimmy Clausen is expected to get a long look in the preseason opener, as his competition with Jordan Palmer for the top backup job behind Jay Cutler continues.

"We're looking to see how he can run the offense," said Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. "By no means are we looking for a superstar. We're looking for a guy that can read a coverage and throw it to the correct guy."

Clausen wasn't signed until June 5, so he has had to play catch-up in learning the offense.

"Quarterbacks normally have the off-season to learn it," Kromer said. "So Day One, when we were putting in the base offense, he wasn't there. He got in late and he studied hard all summer and put himself in a position to compete, and that's all that we're looking for."

Not in attendance:

Defensive end Jared Allen missed his third straight practice to be with his wife for the birth of their second daughter.

"When he's settled with his family and the things he's got to do, he'll be back," Marc Trestman said. "But he's excused until that time."

Allen's last practice was Friday.

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall was at practice but he only did some minimal individual work in what was essentially a day of rest. Cornerback Isaiah Frey left practice early with a hamstring injury that he said was not serious.

Guard Eben Britton (hamstring) and cornerback Tim Jennings (quad) remain out.

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