Depending on the fine-tuning of their prospects list in the final days before Thursdays start of the 2012 draft, the Bears could well be positioned for a trade down from No. 19 and still landing an impact player to come in and start as a rookie.The key is in the number of players deemed both worthy of the pick involved, in this case one in the difficult mid range of the draft, and who might be available at a later point in the first round in particular.I would say right now, were working on a core of about seven players, said Bearsgeneral managerPhil Emery on Monday.That core will have players ranked according to the Bears standards of measure,including players who will be gone by No. 19 and could alsoshrink as the day approaches.Emery agreed that 2012 is good for wide receivers, defensive ends and tackles, in addition to tackles who could be moved into guard in the NFL.Since defensive end has been established as a priority, this points to a desirable situation in which a target area also happens to be one deep in quality players.That also shapes up as a scenario in which the Bears could deal down, depending upon how many of their core targets are still available when their turn comes at No. 19.Witha tiny handful of core players, the pressure could increase for trading up to get one.If the Bears consider a core of seven players to be of sufficient quality for No. 19, those become even better bargains if they could deal back a couple of picks and get one of their core.But that requires precise measuring.When you move back, you have to have a list of players that you feel good enough about, and a number of players, that the worst case, Emery said.The doomsday thing is you move back four spots. OK. If you were in that slot and you move back you get the fourth or fifth player in that sequence; you better feel good about that player.Because all those guys can be taken; every one of them. And I have been in a trade situation that the third one out of three that we had -- the first guy got taken where we moved out of, the second went and then we got the third one. You have to feel really good about that third player on that list because that could be the one you end up with.With a core of seven, the Bears are in a potentially very good position to feel good when they are on the clock Thursday.
Kyle Fuller was one of the seeming fixtures in the Bears’ defense as it transitioned from the 4-3 of old to the 3-4 of Vic Fangio. And he may be again, the Bears hope very soon, as he has begun practicing after months on injured reserve following knee surgery in August.
The Bears could place Fuller on the active roster as late as Saturday after he practiced all three days this week. “He made it three days in practice, no setbacks,” said coach John Fox. “He seems to be adapting pretty well. He has another practice [Saturday] and we don’t have to make a decision until 3 p.m. because of where he is on the roster. We’ll evaluate that after tomorrow.”
Were Fuller to return — restoring one projected 2016 starter to a defense that has been forced to field five different starting secondaries in the span of 11 games — he may be phased back in with a managed number of snaps, as other certain other players returning from injury have been.
But getting Fuller back projects to be an instant upgrade for a defensive backfield among the NFL’s worst at producing takeaways.
“We all play different positions so we’re kind of used to it, people moving in and out over the year,” said Bryce Callahan, who was initially ticketed for nickel duty as the No. 3 cornerback this season but has been pressed into service starting at cornerback in four games.
“It’s always good to get someone like Kyle back.”
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The Bears would need to weigh what workload Fuller could handle vs. roster needs based on only having 46 players active on game day.
“You’re always a little bit cautious because it does affect your roster,” Fox said. “But if you feel like he makes you better, that’s a move you make. Now we’re just working through him medically, durability-wise, and how much he can play.”
Jay Cutler (shoulder) was officially declared out and is headed for surgery on Saturday, ultimately to injured reserve.
Other availability questions include receiver Eddie Royal (toe), guard Josh Sitton (ankle) and safety Adrian Amos (ankle), all questionable. Linebacker Willie Young (knee) did not practice but linebacker Leonard Floyd was able to practice on a limited basis although his status in the concussion protocol will not be known until closer to game time.
Crain's Chicago Business released its latest 40 under 40 project and White Sox announcer Jason Benetti made this year's list.
The 33-year-old just finished his first season with the White Sox as play-by-play announcer, working the home games at U.S. Cellular Field (before it was renamed Guaranteed Rate Field last month) alongside Steve Stone as longtime broadcaster Hawk Harrelson saw his workload reduced to mostly road games.
Benetti quickly became a fan favorite among Chicagoans on CSN and other networks in 2016 and his cerebral palsy became more of a backstory, with his work alongside Stone and his affable sense of humor taking center stage instead.
Among other topics, Benetti discussed how he approaches his job of broadcasting for the team he grew up rooting for:
Law school taught me that there are always two sides of the argument. I see it from the Sox prism, but I can’t believe in my heart of hearts that, if the Sox lose, the world’s over anymore. That first game, I was like, “All right, it’s just a game.” And then Avi Garcia hits a homer late in the game against the Indians and I call it like I would call it with a little more. And as the ball cleared the fence, when it was rolling around, I got a slight tear in my eye. And I was like, “What’s that?”