A guy who could be one of the Bears' top targets this spring declared for the NFL Draft on Wednesday.
Two days after his Alabama Crimson Tide won the national championship, wide receiver Calvin Ridley announced he's skipping his senior season to pursue a pro career.
This was obviously expected, as Ridley was one of the best wideouts in college football this season. But it's welcome news for teams looking to add an impact pass-catcher through the draft, and the Bears could very well fit that description.
A lack of high-caliber wide receivers around Mitch Trubisky was a big talking point during the quarterback's rookie season, and while Cameron Meredith and Kevin White are both expected to be back after missing the entire 2017 season, there's little doubt that the receiving corps could use an upgrade.
For the Bears, picking eighth, Ridley would be as attractive a receiving prospect as anyone. He had a monster freshman year in 2015, catching 89 passes for 1,045 yards and seven touchdowns. After a 769-yard, seven-touchdown seasons as a sophomore in 2016, he caught 63 passes this past season for 967 yards and five touchdowns, including the scoring catch with under four minutes to play in regulation in Monday's title game.
All in all, Ridley caught 224 passes for 2,781 yards and 19 touchdowns, the first and third of those numbers being second most in Alabama program history.
Rotoworld's Josh Norris currently projects Ridley as a mid-first-round pick but has him as the first receiver selected. If the Bears choose to go with a first-round wideout again — they made White the seventh-overall pick in 2015 — they could gow ith Ridley.
The Chicago Bears are thin at outside linebacker after only signing Aaron Lynch to provide a pass rush opposite Leonard Floyd this season.
Lynch was considered a risky signing in March because of his injury history. He's appeared in only 28 games over the last three years and he's already off to an injured start with the Bears.
Lynch was one of several players to miss Sunday's practice with a hamstring injury, a list that includes fellow starter, Danny Trevathan.
Lynch and Trevathan missed Saturday's practice, too.
Other Bears who sat out on Sunday were Sherrick McManis (hamstring), Daniel Brown (ankle) and Joel Iyiegbuniwe (shoulder). First-round pick Roquan Smith remains a holdout.
Lynch is in a training camp battle with Sam Acho for a starting job and will have to hold off Kylie Fitts and Isaiah Irving as well. The more time he loses to injury, the less and less likely the chances are that he'll become an impact player on defense.
It's still early, and the Bears have an extra week of training camp because of the Hall of Fame game. There's plenty of time for Lynch to get healthy and put this hamstring issue behind him.
Matt Nagy is a few days into his first training camp as an NFL head coach, and while he's earned praise from players up and down the Chicago Bears' roster, he said Sunday after practice that he's not concerned with being a player's coach.
"I don't care about the players' coach part," he said, "but I care that they respect me and our coaches. This isn't going to happen overnight, this is something I'm trying to build with the players.
"There's so much stuff that comes into this. There are little areas where were all growing and that's where I think the respect factor comes in for all coaches."
Nagy won't make any friends with his approach to practicing in bad weather. The first few days of Bears camp have been drenched by rain but Nagy hasn't moved practice indoors. Instead, he wants his team to get used to playing in the elements. Hardly a favor to the players, even if it will prepare them for bad weather games this season.
The Bears will debut Nagy and their new offense on August 2 against the Ravens in the Hall of Fame game. Starters will likely play only one series, if at all.