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Why isn't Sanchez seeing more game reps?

Posted Aug 30, 2017

Senior writer Larry Mayer discusses why the Bears aren't playing quarterback Mark Sanchez that much in the preseason, what role rookie receiver Tanner Gentry could play and the likelihood of cornerback Kyle Fuller being a surprise cut.



Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

Why aren’t the Bears playing Mark Sanchez that much in the preseason? If the Bears don’t want to play him, why not trade him and get something in return for him?

Andrew H.
Collins, Missouri

The Bears aren’t playing Mark Sanchez that much in the preseason because they already know exactly what he is. He’s a savvy nine-year veteran who is more than capable of stepping in to operate the offense in the event of an injury to the starter. Perhaps more importantly, Sanchez is also viewed as a mentor in the quarterback room. The Bears know a whole lot less about their quarterback of the present (Mike Glennon) and their quarterback of the future (Mitchell Trubisky), so that’s why those two are getting a lot more reps in preseason games.

I have heard everyone raving about Tanner Gentry and some reports saying he was the most impressive wide receiver at training camp. It seems he’s being underutilized all preseason, though. Will he play a bigger role with Cameron Meredith done for the year?

Devin P.

I attended every practice this summer and I’d say that Tanner Gentry made more impact plays in Bourbonnais than any other Bears receiver, especially long touchdown receptions. He had a breakout senior season at Wyoming and has picked up as a Bears rookie where he left off. I wasn’t convinced he would make the 53-man roster despite his great training camp, but with Cameron Meredith now out for the season, I do expect Gentry to earn a job and be given an opportunity to contribute as an outside receiver. I know he has developed a good rapport with rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, which was evident when the two connected for a 45-yard touchdown last Sunday in Tennessee. I would imagine that Gentry will get a lot of playing time in Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Browns. I believe he still needs to show the Bears that he can run a variety of different pass routes and also contribute on special teams to enhance his chances of being active for regular-season games.

Do you think that Kyle Fuller could be a surprise cut?

Peter J.
Markham, Illinois

I could be wrong (shockingly it’s happened before), and you may be surprised to learn that general manager Ryan Pace doesn’t seek my input on these types of decisions. But I think that cornerback Kyle Fuller has had a pretty good summer. When Prince Amukamara hurt his ankle early in last Sunday’s game against the Titans, Fuller replaced him, which would seem to indicate that he’s the Bears’ third cornerback. Amukamara has had some injury problems in the past, so I would imagine that Fuller will make the 53-man roster. Of course we’ll have to wait until Saturday at 3 p.m. to find out for sure.

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