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.
What is the status of receiver Anthony Miller, who was supposed to have shoulder surgery during the offseason. Did he have the surgery and how long will he be out?
Bears general manager Ryan Pace confirmed Wednesday at the NFL Combine that receiver Anthony Miller underwent shoulder surgery “right after the season” and is doing well. While no timetable for Miller’s return has been released, Pace acknowledged that the 2018 second-round pick “could be limited” in offseason workouts, promising that “we’ll be smart with him.”
Miller showed his toughness in 2018, fighting through the shoulder injury to lead the Bears with seven touchdown receptions while catching 33 passes for 423 yards in 15 games. Here’s what coach Matt Nagy said about Miller at the Combine: “I really liked what Anthony did this year. It’s what we saw on tape. Not a lot of guys have more confidence than him, which I love. You got to see, No. 1, how much could he handle of the offense as we went. We didn’t know that, but he took a lot of the offense on and did a great job with it. We put him in different spots to make plays. You saw that happen. For him, mentally, he gets to see, ‘OK, how do I play this game as a true professional?’ It’s 100 percent football all the time. He’s learning that. He’s becoming a student of the game. As far as his injury, he had the surgery and we’ll get that right. I don’t know the exact time, but hopefully in the spring/summer he’ll be back.”
Do you think the fact that the Bears have transformed from a last-place team into a Super Bowl contender will help them attract free agents?
Des Moines, Iowa
It certainly can’t hurt, and it’s something that general manager Ryan Pace addressed Wednesday at the Combine, saying that: “I feel like we are a lot more attractive destination for a variety of reasons. It's the coaching staff, it’s the youth of our roster, it's the city of Chicago, it's the brand-new facility. We’re definitely a team on the rise and I think a lot more players will want to be part of that.” While there’s no doubt that’s true, it’s not like the Bears had trouble signing free agents last offseason when they were coming off a 5-11 season. They were the most active team in the NFL a year ago, inking receiver Allen Robinson II and Taylor Gabriel, tight end Trey Burton and outside linebacker Aaron Lynch, among others. I think a lot of those players already saw the Bears as an ascending team they wanted to join at that point.
Did the Bears try to sign running back Kareem Hunt before he joined the Browns?
No, they did not. Asked about pursuing Kareem Hunt before he signed with the Browns, general manager Ryan Pace told reporters Wednesday at the Combine that the Bears “talked about it, but it never got serious.” Pace added that he’d be doing the Bears a disservice if the personnel department didn’t at least discuss every potential scenario that presents itself, saying: “You explore everything. We owe that to ourselves. But for a variety of reasons it never got serious.”