Two players on the Bears offense have changed positions and uniform numbers.
Sowell frequently lined up as an eligible third tackle last season and caught a two-yard touchdown pass from Mitchell Trubisky in a 15-6 Sunday night win over the Los Angeles Rams at Soldier Field.
The only touchdown of the game came on a gadget play dubbed “Santa’s Sleigh” that featured four defensive linemen. Akiem Hicks stood in the backfield next to Trubisky, who was in the shotgun. Roy Robertson-Harris lined up to the left and ran a pass route in the end zone. Bilal Nichols and Jonathan Bullard stood behind the right side of the offensive line.
Lining up immediately to the right of right tackle Bobby Massie, Sowell initially acted as if he was blocking on the play. As Trubisky faked a handoff to Hicks, Sowell slipped into the end zone and caught the quarterback’s pass.
That memorable play isn’t the only reason that Sowell is moving to tight end, however.
“We’re going to try it out and see what we can do,” coach Matt Nagy said after Wednesday’s OTA practice at Halas Hall.
“It’s a position right there at that ‘Y’ tight end type spot where we can use some more depth, and Bradley has showed us the ability, not just off of a two-point play or a touchdown play, but he’s shown it repetitively in practice that he has the athletic ability, the hands, he’s very smart, he knows how to block and all that stuff. So let’s test it out. When I tell you he’s all-in, he’s all-in.”
Sowell has appeared in all 16 games each of the past two years with the Bears, including two starts at left guard in 2017. He spent his first five NFL seasons with the Colts (2012), Cardinals (2013-15) and Seahawks (2016), playing in 68 games with 21 starts. Sowell entered the NFL with the Buccaneers in 2012 as an undrafted free agent from Mississippi.
Mizzell, meanwhile, appeared in 12 games with one start as a running back with the Bears the past two seasons, rushing for 16 yards on nine carries and catching eight passes for 78 yards and one touchdown. He also averaged 15.1 yards on seven kickoff returns. Mizzell entered the NFL with the Ravens in 2017 as an undrafted free agent from Virginia.
Bears rookies and veterans hit the field together for Day 2 of OTA practices at Halas Hall.