A day after Brandon Marshall expressed negative thoughts about knowing his “role” in the new offense and the state of his surgically addressed hip, the Bears abruptly gave the veteran wide receiver a four-day pass for “personal reasons.”
The result is that Marshall will not be with the team for the Cleveland game on Thursday night, so any “mental reps” that might give him clues to his role won’t be happening.
The situation is anything but smooth at the moment, given the unusual nature of an extended time off which also takes Marshall away until an expected practice on Sunday.
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Marshall had multiple dropped passes in the win at Oakland when the offense tilted noticeably toward wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and running back Matt Forte. Marshall has been the centerpiece of every offense in Denver, Miami and Chicago, and his comments suggest that he is out of step at some level either physically or with the offense’s operation under coach Marc Trestman and coordinator Aaron Kromer.
“I’d rather just leave it at ‘personal reasons’ out of respect for Brandon,” Trestman said. “But it’s all good. As I have said, when I let guys go for personal reasons, it’s all good. It’s not reflective of anything other than I gave him time off. He will be back on Sunday.”
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The bigger concern is about the receiving group in general. Besides Marshall’s issues, the offense has not had Earl Bennett even practicing since he suffered a concussion back in an Aug. 3 practice.
Marshall has had three hip surgeries without derailing his career in the least. And one explanation of Marshall’s current difficulties is a possible combination of frustration over his drops, coming at a time when the offense is settling in, on top of being still not up to speed with his hip.
Marshall was not going to play at all in the Cleveland game, as virtually all starters are slated to be held out in favor of a more detailed look at players involved in roster decisions.