Why Chargers Inman upgrades Bears' talent at wide receiver
The Bears made a move to upgrade their depleted wide receiver group by trading a 2018 seventh-round pick to the Los Angeles Chargers for Dontrelle Inman.
The 6-foot-3, 198-pound four-year veteran has just 2 catches for 9 yards this season. But he enjoyed a career-best season in 2016, when he caught 58 passes for 810 yards (14.0-yard average) and 4 touchdowns and started all 16 games. A year earlier, Inman caught 35 passes for 486 yards and 3 touchdowns.
"I've watched some tape on him," Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. "I just saw a smart, savvy player that should be able to provide some leadership in our room, and we need that type of figure right now to help these guys out."
Cam Meredith and Kevin White, projected as the Bears' top two wide receivers this season, are on injured reserve, and free-agent addition Markus Wheaton has played in just three games because of injuries and has 1 catch for 9 yards.
Kendall Wright is the Bears' top wide receiver, but he has just 20 catches for 236 yards and 1 touchdown. No other wide receiver on the roster has more catches or yards than Josh Bellamy's 10 and 114.
Inman was originally signed as an undrafted rookie out of Virginia by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011. He caught 50 passes for 803 yards and 5 touchdowns as a member of the Toronto Argonauts Grey Cup championship team in 2012 in the Canadian Football League. The following season with the Argos, he also caught 50 passes for 739 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Inman had abdominal muscle surgery in May, shortly after the Chargers used the seventh overall pick in the draft on Clemson's Mike Williams. Williams missed the first five games with a back injury but has returned to full strength. Keenan Allen (36 catches for 487 yards) is the Chargers' other starter at wide receiver.
Inman upgrades the Bears' talent at wide receiver, but assimilating him into the offense on the fly won't be easy.
"It's obviously advantageous to go through training camp to go through OTAs and build chemistry and timing and really own the playbook and understand it," Loggains said. We're dealing with some of those pains now at that position. So, we'll get him in here and we'll assess where he's at and figure out what he can and cannot do."
Stingy on defense:
After keeping the Carolina Panthers out of the endzone in last week's 17-3 victory, the Bears' defense has not allowed a touchdown in nine quarters.
The Bears are the only NFL team that has not allowed a TD in the previous two weeks. The last time a Bears defense went back-to-back games without allowing a touchdown was in 2005.
The Vikings were the last opposing offense to cross the goalline against the Bears when Jerick McKinnon ran for a 58-yard TD late in the third quarter of Minnesota's 20-17 victory at Soldier Field in Week Five.
Guard Kyle Long (ankle), wide receiver Markus Wheaton (groin), linebacker John Timu (ankle/knee), cornerback Sherrick McManis (hamstring) and defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris (hamstring) did not practice.
Long's day off was more about maintenance on his surgical ankle and making sure he was available on Sunday. Bryce Callahan (neck), defensive lineman Mitch Unrein (quad), running back Benny Cunningham (hamstring) and center Hroniss Grasu (hand) were limited.
Three starters did not practice for the Saints; offensive left tackle Terron Armstead (shoulder), right guard Larry Warford (abdomen) and wide receiver Michael Thomas (knee).