He has been something of a tease for the Bears, a seventh-round draft choice in 2013 coming out of two highly productive years at Washington State, the kind of tall wide receiver that offenses and quarterbacks crave.
But for Marquess Wilson, his career has been marred by one injury after another over the past three seasons, all costing him and the Bears playing time.
Wilson’s latest issue – a fractured foot suffered in a June minicamp practice – landed him on the physically unable-to-perform list to start the season. It was a re-fracture of the foot he injured last season, bringing to an end a year in which he was averaging a career-best 16.6 yards on his 28 pass receptions.
Wilson began practicing on Monday, beginning a 21-day window in which his situation can be evaluated. His return would be a boost to an offense that has seen injuries fell Kevin White (leg) at least for the time being and Eddie Royal (toe) for the past two-plus games.
It was a telling sign of the team’s interest in him that he wasn’t waived before the outset of the season.
“It means a lot,” Wilson said on Monday. “It shows that they have trust in me and I greatly appreciate it. I’m just looking forward to being back on the field and give it my all.”
Staying there has been difficult. He played in 10 games as a rookie, then started six of his seven games in 2014 and six of 11 last year. Wilson refused to buckle and has been a regular at practices throughout this season even though he was unable to practice.
“You’ve just got to continue to work at it and get better and fight through the pain and do whatever you can to get back on the field and help the team,” Wilson said.