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This week in Bears history: April 20-26


With the NFL set to celebrate its 100th birthday on Sept. 17, 2020, here's a look at what transpired this week in Bears history:

April 20
In 1996, the Bears selected cornerback Walt Harris and receiver Bobby Engram in the first two rounds of the draft. Harris spent his first six NFL seasons with the Bears, appearing in 87 games with 84 starts and recording 15 interceptions. Engram played his first five pro seasons with the Bears, catching 246 passes for 2,831 yards and 17 touchdowns while appearing in 62 games with 46 starts.

April 21
In 1938, former end Angelo Coia was born. Selected by the Bears in the 20th round of the 1960 draft, he spent his first four NFL seasons in Chicago, catching 70 passes for 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns. Coia appeared in 12 games with four starts for the 1963 NFL champion Bears, recording 11 passes for 116 yards and one TD. He passed away on Jan. 2, 2013 at the age of 74.

April 22
In 1995, the Bears selected Heisman Trophy-winning running back Rashaan Salaam with the 21st pick in the first round of the draft out of Colorado. Salaam rushed for a Bears-rookie record 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns on 296 carries in 1995. However, he played in only 17 NFL games following his rookie year. Salaam passed away on Dec. 5, 2016 at the age of 42.

April 23
In 2018, Devin Hester and Matt Forte signed one-day contracts and officially retired as Bears. The electrifying record-breaking return specialist and the prolific dual-threat running back both were selected by the Bears in the second round of the NFL Draft—Hester in 2006 and Forte in 2008—and spent their first eight NFL seasons in Chicago.

April 24
In 1978, former Bears player and coach Hunk Anderson passed away at the age of 79. Anderson played guard for the Bears from 1922-25 and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1920s. He later helped the Bears win four league championships in the 1940s as co-head coach with Luke Johnsos (1942-45) and an assistant coach (1940-42, 1946-50).

April 25
In 1926, former Bears scout Jim Parmer was born. After spending his entire NFL playing career as a running back with the Eagles from 1948-56, Parmer served as a Bears scout from 1973-91. Parmer was instrumental in helping the Bears build teams that won five straight division championships from 1984-88 and Super Bowl XX in 1985. He passed away on April 20, 2005 at the age of 79.

April 26
In 1983, the Bears selected left tackle Jimbo Covert with the sixth pick in the first round of the draft out of Pittsburgh. Covert spent his entire eight-year NFL career in Chicago. He was a two-time first-team All-Pro who helped the Bears win six division championships, one conference title and Super Bowl XX. Covert was named to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1980s and will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame later this year.