Bears

Bears lose another 'Fab Five' member with Martellus Bennett issues

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Bears lose another 'Fab Five' member with Martellus Bennett issues

The Bears moving Martellus Bennett to injured reserve this week with a rib injury was a step with some obvious potential implications, both short-term and long-term.

The short term takes a hit by removing a vital member of the Bears’ offense, which has played this season almost entirely without the benefit of their No. 1 unit intact.

The long term projects to include a Bennett exit from Chicago, whether by outright release or by trade, although teams rarely offer much for a player expected to be ousted by his team.

The latter also would deprive the Bears of a shot at what Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin termed a potential “Fab Five” in Irvin’s notion of what the Bears could become offensively.

“There is no one more gifted at their positions than Jay Cutler, and also Martellus Bennett,” Irvin told CSNChicago.com during that 2014 training camp. “If they get the cerebral part of the game to go with their physical gifts, there’s no telling...

“I see an incredible opportunity here. In Dallas, we lived with what everybody called ‘The Triplets,’ Troy [Aikman], Emmitt [Smith] and me...But what I saw [in Chicago] was what I called the ‘Fantastic Four’ with Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte. The question is whether they’re going to become that ‘Fabulous Five,’ a new ‘Fab Five.’

“Martellus is that key.”

Or maybe now, “was.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]

Marshall was excused to the New York Jets last offseason but Irvin was mightily impressed by Kevin White. The Bears, however, don’t have someone in the developmental pipeline behind Bennett.

Bennett's time over the past two years has been bumpy. He was suspended during the 2014 training camp after a fighting incident with then-rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller. Sources said the open-ended suspension was due not to the incident itself, but rather to Bennett’s behavior with team officials. He was basically suspended until he both apologized for the body slam of Fuller and his conduct afterwards.

That situation was forgotten as Bennett played his way into a Pro Bowl with a career year of 90 catches. But then the offseason came with Bennett choosing to stay away from voluntary work with the team even as it was installing a new system under new coaches. Bennett’s unhappiness at not receiving a new contract festered, leading to complaints about his role while Miller earned increasing snaps and targets.

Bears Week 7 Inactives: Mitch Trubisky and Bilal Nichols are both playing against the Saints

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USA Today

Bears Week 7 Inactives: Mitch Trubisky and Bilal Nichols are both playing against the Saints

The Bears just announced their inactive list, and as expected, Mitch Trubisky is ready to go: 

Trubisky and defensive lineman Bilal Nichols will both return after missing time with a dislocated shoulder and broken hand, respectively. Trubisky has been out since Week 4's game against the Vikings and Nichols hasn't played since breaking his hand against the Broncos. 

Reserve offensive lineman Ted Larsen will also return, his first game since hurting his knee against the Vikings as well. It'll up to Larsen and Rashaad Coward to fill in at guard, especially with Alex Bars being a healthy scratch. Long was put on IR earlier in the week, and while Coward took most of the first-team reps in practice, head coach Matt Nagy didn't rule out the possibility of rotating the two early in the game. 

WATCH: Bears offense outduels defense in unique practice competition

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USA TODAY

WATCH: Bears offense outduels defense in unique practice competition

The Bears offense will welcome the healthy return of quarterback Mitch Trubisky in Sunday's Week 7 game against the New Orleans Saints and must build momentum entering a critical stretch of their 2019 schedule.

At 3-2 and with several playoff-caliber opponents on the horizon, the Bears can't afford more of the same from Trubisky and the passing game, one that ranks 30th in the NFL. They'll need more from rookie running back David Montgomery, too, who's averaging just 3.3 yards per carry through his first five games as a pro.

Confidence is key in Chicago's quest for more production. And, look, if it takes winning an egg toss competition in practice in order for the offense to get a morale boost? So be it.

It's unclear in the video who tossed the winning egg. Ironically, or maybe fittingly, it wasn't one of the Bears' quarterbacks.

Trubisky has to take advantage of any touchdown opportunities he gets Sunday against the 10th-ranked Saints defense. Unlike the team's egg-tossing contest, Week 7's outcome may come down to his ability to make the clutch throw. Now's the time for him to prove he can get it done.

Otherwise, the Bears' season will become an omelette of doom, despair and disappointment.

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