Tim Jennings took a chance on himself in 2011 when he left the Indianapolis Colts, with whom he had won a Super Bowl ring at the Bears' expense in 2007, and signed with Chicago.His new team envisioned Zackary Bowman securing the starting left cornerback position, so much so that Charles Tillman was flipped over to the right side to set Bowman on the left.Three games into the 2010 season, Bowman was benched and Jennings was in. He stayed there for the 13 games to finish that year, plus two playoff games, and the first 14 of 2011. Then Bowman was inserted for the Week 16, Christmas night game against the Packers.Thereasoning was a bitfuzzy. One story was that it was for matchups against the taller Green Bay receivers (Bowman is 6-foot-1, Jennings 5-foot-9). But since it was the first Packers game in 2010 that exposed Bowman and led to his benching, the reason seemed simpler.Jennings had justone tackle and nothing else the previous week against Seattle, a woeful 38-14loss thatended the starting gigs ofCaleb Hanie, Marion Barber, Chris Conte and Johnny Knox, the last two for reasons of injury.Bowman's "chance" lasted one game and Jennings was back for the Week 17 regular season finale in Minnesota, an eventual 17-13 win for the Bears.Now, Jennings again finds himself in a starter's role as the off-season begins."It's kind of motivation but on the same token the coaches are going to make the decisions to kind of figure out what they want to do," Jennings, who punctuated last Wednesdays OTA with a lay-out diving interception of a Jay Cutler pass, said."So the opportunity was there. I wanted to come out and prove that next game against Minnesota that I was kind of your guy the whole season. Hopefully I'll continue being your guy moving forward in my career," he added.Despite the Bears signing Kelvin Hayden and Jonathan Wilhite this offseason, the unofficial money is on Jennings continuing to be the Bears' guy.Pro Football Focus' Sam Monsonhas identified Jennings as the Bears' "Secret Superstar" in an intriguing bit of analysis which deftly notes that Jennings, at 5-foot-9, may not be the prototypical man-to-man cornerback. But he is a complete fit in the Bears system."It's a buyer's market for Cover-2 corners at the moment, and the Bears have bought themselves a good one in Tim Jennings," Monson summarizes. "He may suffer the same slight that all Cover-2 corners have to live with, but the bottom line is that Tim Jennings makes things tough for opposing wide receivers, and isn't that the job of a cornerback, whatever the scheme? Tim Jennings is the Chicago Bears Secret Superstar."
We'd been circling this news all week, and now it's getting closer to reality: late Saturday night, Adam Schefter reported that QB Mitch Trubisky will be under center for the Bears' matchup with the Saints this Sunday:
Bears’ QB Mitchell Trubisky, listed as questionable for today’s game against the Saints due to a shoulder injury, will play, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 20, 2019
Trubisky was a full participant in practice from Wednesday to Friday of last week, but had still been listed as questionable up to this point. He returns after dislocating his left shoulder in Week 4 against the Vikings and missing the team's Week 5 loss to the Raiders.
The news comes at a crucial juncture of the season for the Bears, who are currently 3-2 and in third place in the NFC North.
The Bulls waived Milton Doyle, Justin Simon and Simisola Shittu Saturday, which is minor news since they were mostly camp bodies competing for possibly a two-way contract.
The bigger development is that the Bulls’ roster is basically set, pending the signing of one player to the second two-way contract still available. No Iman Shumpert. No Alfonzo McKinnie. And that’s just naming two hometown products recently linked to the Bulls via the rumor mill.
The Bulls still want to see what they have in Chandler Hutchison, who did some individual shooting Saturday but missed all training camp with a hamstring injury. Denzel Valentine, currently out of the rotation, is staying ready.
And Shaq Harrison, who missed all five preseason games with his own hamstring injury but now is fully practicing, remains a Jim Boylen favorite.
And that’s what the roster staying set for now is about as much as anything. The buy-in Boylen has received from players dating to voluntary September workouts and bonds that have formed could be disrupted by the waiving of someone like Harrison, whose contract isn’t fully guaranteed but his commitment is.
While the Bulls recognize proven wing depth is a question mark, they value Harrison’s toughness and defensive ability. If Hutchison or Harrison or Valentine---if he gets an opportunity---don’t produce, perhaps a move could be made at a later date.
But expect only the signing of a second player to a two-way contract to join Adam Mokoka for now.
“We’ve been talking about that,” Boylen said. “We’re working on that. We’ve got our list and have reached out to some people. We’re actively in process.”Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.