Leonard Floyd listed as questionable, but ‘of course’ expects to play


Leonard Floyd listed as questionable, but ‘of course’ expects to play

Leonard Floyd was a late addition to the Bears’ injury report this week, with the second-year outside linebacker being listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to a back issue that limited him practice on Friday. 

Floyd, though, said he “of course” expects to play this weekend. He declined to go into specifics of what happened to his back, but coach John Fox said it was “bothering him a bit,” so the team limited him in Friday’s practice. 

In Tampa Bay’s 36-10 win over the Bears last year at Raymond James Stadium, Floyd had 1 1/2 sacks and three tackles, but felt he could’ve done more that day.

“I left a lot of plays that I could’ve made out there on the field,” Floyd said. “I look forward to this Sunday to finishing those plays.” 

Chemistry class

Markus Wheaton’s practice status hasn’t changed since last week, with the speedy receiver remaining limited by the fractured pinkie he suffered in August. Officially listed as questionable for Sunday, Wheaton admitted he “absolutely” needs to go through a full practice before he can play in a game for the first time in a Bears uniform. 

Wheaton said the “biggest question” he faces is how he’ll be able to use his hands in blocking opposing cornerbacks in the run game. But he also admitted he hasn’t been able to develop much chemistry with quarterback Mike Glennon due to that pinkie injury and the appendectomy that ruled him out for part of training camp, too. 

“We got a good amount of reps in camp but definitely not where I want to be and I'm sure not where he wants to be,” Wheaton said. “So, we have to work on that. … If there's some things we need to work on, we'll work on them before we get out there, for sure.”

Still, Wheaton sounded fairly optimistic about how close he was to returning to a Bears receiving corps needing his ability to stretch the field, noting he’s catching real footballs (instead of Nerf balls, as he was early last week). 

The Long road back

Kyle Long said on Friday he’s getting “closer and closer” to returning, but couldn’t guarantee he’ll be ready to play Sunday against Tampa Bay. Long participated — in a limited manner — in every Bears’ practice this week and is questionable for Sunday. 

“I didn’t bring my magic ball, my crystal ball, but I will say I feel a ton better than I have and I think the guys see that and the coaches see that,” Long said. 

Infirmary attendance

The rest of the Bears’ injury report from Friday: Cornerback Prince Amukamara (questionable, ankle), running back Jordan Howard (questionable, shoulder), wide receiver Josh Bellamy (questionable, ankle), linebacker Christian Jones (questionable, back), safety Deon Bush (questionable, hamstring), running back Benny Cunningham (doubtful, ankle).

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who should the Bears sign, Allen Hurns or Cam Meredith?


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who should the Bears sign, Allen Hurns or Cam Meredith?

On this episode of SportsTalk Live, Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times), Chris Emma (670 The Score) and Ben Finfer join Luke Stuckmeyer on the panel.

Allen Robinson’s former Jaguars teammate is a free agent. Would signing Allen Hurns make sense for the Bears?

Plus, Loyola has traffic problems on the Road to the Final Four and the guys debate the biggest need for the Blackhawks heading into a long offseason.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Kyle Fuller believes he's a Top 5 cornerback in the NFL

USA Today

Kyle Fuller believes he's a Top 5 cornerback in the NFL

Kyle Fuller caused a bit of a panic late Friday afternoon when a report dropped that he signed an offer sheet with the Green Bay Packers. For a few hours, the prospect — even if it was always unlikely — of the Bears losing their best cornerback to their arch rivals to the north loomed over Chicago. 

For Fuller, though, he said he barely had time to think about the possibility of cashing in on his breakout 2017 season with the Packers. The Bears quickly matched the offer sheet, officially announcing the four-year deal Tuesday that makes Fuller one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL. 

“It was crazy not really knowing what to expect,” Fuller said. “I would have never expected it. But when (the Packers’ offer sheet) came, it was definitely something to consider, just on the business side of it. At the end of the day, how it all played out, I’m definitely happy.”

Fuller sounded like someone who took a more passive role to his quasi-restricted free agency that was set about when the Bears placed the transition tag on him, allowing them to match any offer sheet that he were to sign. Fuller said he didn’t know all the details of what was going on with offer sheets coming in and negotiations with the Bears.

“I kinda was just getting the information from (my agents) and going with the flow of everything and knowing that at the end of the day it would end up working out,” Fuller said. 

The $14 million average annual value of Fuller’s contract ranks fifth among cornerbacks, behind only Washington’s Josh Norman ($15 million), New York’s Trumaine Johnson ($14.5 million) Minnesota’s Xavier Rhodes ($14.02 million) and Arizona’s Patrick Peterson ($14.01 million), according to Spotrac. 

Fuller said he considers himself a top-five cornerback in the league, and he played like someone who could wind up in that discussion in 2017. The 2014 first-round pick was one of four players to break up 20 or more passes last year, and he picked off two passes in December while providing excellent support against the run. 

“We could not be happier to have Kyle under contract for four more years,” general manager Ryan Pace said. “We feel he is an ascending player on our top 10 defense and we look forward to him having many more productive seasons here in Chicago.”