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Will the Bears sign a free agent WR?

Posted Sep 19, 2017

Senior writer Larry Mayer discusses whether the Bears could sign a street free agent to bolster the receiver position, Tarik Cohen's muffed punt and thoughts for why rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky didn't play late in Sunday's loss in Tampa.



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.

After losing starters Kevin White and Cameron Meredith to injuries, I don’t think there’s any doubt that the Bears are very thin at receiver. Is there someone on the street who could help them? What do you think is the solution to bolstering that position?

David G.
Elkhart, Indiana

The chances of a street free agent coming in at this point of the season and becoming a regular contributor are pretty slim. There’s a reason those players are not currently with an NFL club. I think the biggest boost the Bears’ receiving corps will get is when Markus Wheaton is able to get back onto the field. I’m not saying he’s the second coming of Jerry Rice. But he has the type of speed to threaten defenses deep down the field, which should help open up underneath patterns for some of his teammates. Hopefully Wheaton will be able to return Sunday against his former team, the Steelers.

I love Tarik Cohen’s aggressiveness, but what was he thinking trying to field that punt against the Bucs? His fumble was a huge momentum swing and put the Bears in a giant hole.

Peter M.
West Virginia

I think Tarik Cohen was a little surprised because the punt looked like it was going to bounce out of bounds, but when it took a weird hop his first reaction was to try to keep the ball from advancing any deeper in Bears territory. However, given that he had two Buccaneers players virtually on top of him, it was obviously a poor decision that resulted in a costly turnover. Here’s what Cohen had to say about the play after the game: “At first I thought it was going out of bounds. Then it was bouncing inbounds so I was trying to stop the bleeding of the ball. Give credit to the gunners. They saw as soon as I attacked the ball, they attacked me. They got the ball out. I’ve got to do better; just let it bleed sometimes and make better decisions back there. I was really trying to make a play. Trying to save more yardage; that’s a play in my mind, stopping the bleeding of the ball. Like I said, I’ve just got to be more decisive and take my loss.”

Why didn’t the Bears put Mitchell Trubisky into the second half of their blowout against the Buccaneers? He at least could have gotten some experience during “garbage time?”

William L.
Harvard, Illinois

I think there were two reasons: 1) Coach John Fox didn’t want to throw untested rookie Mitchell Trubisky into a lopsided game behind a makeshift offensive line against a defense that knew the Bears had to pass the ball; and 2) Fox wanted to get Mike Glennon more experience working with the offense, especially the receivers who are trying to help fill the void created by injuries to starters Cameron Meredith and Kevin White. Said Fox: “We have our starting quarterback is two games as a Bear and the point you’re probably talking about is maybe the fourth quarter of that game. All those things are going to be important for him moving forward too. I wish we could play two quarterbacks at once, but I don’t know if that would be our best option.”

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