CINCINNATI – Looking to build on a resurgent 2017 season, Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller has been concentrating in practice on putting himself in position to make big plays.
Fuller's hard work paid off Thursday night in the form of a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown in a 30-27 loss to the Bengals. Fuller was covering speedy receiver John Ross, who slipped coming out of his break.
"I was going against a fast receiver," Fuller said. "I tried to give myself some room. He was running deep and once I saw him break, I was able to get in position to get where the ball was and it ended up being an interception and a touchdown."
Fuller picked off Andy Dalton's pass, raced down the left sideline and cut back en route to the touchdown. "I think I got a couple of blocks," Fuller said. "I was definitely happy to get into the end zone."
Coming up big: Second-year tight end Adam Shaheen caught three passes for 53 yards, all from backup Chase Daniel on a first half possession capped by Taquan Mizzell's 1-yard touchdown run that tied the score 14-14.
"That's big for him," coach Matt Nagy said of the 6-6, 270-pound Shaheen. "He's going to be a big part of this offense. He's a big target. We're trying to fine-tune some of his route-running skills and what he does versus specific coverages. For him to come out and play well, that was good for him."
A 2017 second-round pick from Ashland, Shaheen feels a lot more comfortable entering his second NFL season than he did as a rookie, when he said he spent the preseason "running around like a chicken with its head cut off."
"Chase was just feeding me a little bit," Shaheen said of his three receptions in a six-play span. "It's preseason, so hopefully we can translate it and do more of that in the season."
Center of attention: After missing the Hall of Fame Game with an injury, rookie second-round pick James Daniels performed well in his preseason debut. Daniels entered Thursday night's contest at center when the second team replaced the starters late in the first quarter.
"I've got to go back and watch it and see the details of his technique, but for the most part I thought he played pretty well," Nagy said. "That was really neat to see. I was proud of him, proud with a lot of the offensive linemen. I thought they had a good game. … [Daniels] came back and played, so we want to just keep on pushing, man, and keep him going."
Dropping the ball: Mitchell Trubisky targeted Kevin White twice on the first three plays of the game. The first pass deep down the left sideline sailed out of the receiver's reach. But White dropped an accurate second throw over the middle, though the play didn't count because the Bengals were penalized for roughing-the-passer.
"It was a good throw," Nagy said. "It was a drop. Kevin will tell you that. That's what we're trying to get through, and he wasn't the only one. There were some drops tonight. I harped on that at halftime to the guys. It can't happen where the Bears beat the Bears. We can't do that. They know that.
"We as coaches have got to do our best to not let that happen and send that message, '[If] you drop a ball, then next time come out when you get an opportunity and catch the next one.' We'll keep harping in practice, keep practicing with our hands. [But I have] tons of confidence in all those guys still."
Health report: Bears players who did not travel to Cincinnati due to injuries were receiver Joshua Bellamy, tight end Dion Sims, outside linebacker Isaiah Irving and defensive back Rashard Fant.
Veterans who did not dress included running backs Jordan Howard and Benny Cunningham, receiver Taylor Gabriel, inside linebackers Danny Trevathan and Joel Iyiegbuniwe, outside linebacker Aaron Lynch, cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Cre'Von LeBlanc and safety Deon Bush.