Chicago Bears

Bears schedule: Hurtin in Minny, Green Bay, uncertain in Detroit

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Bears schedule: Hurtin in Minny, Green Bay, uncertain in Detroit

While the Bears can look forward to getting the likes of Gabe Carimi, Jay Cutler, Chris Williams and presumably Matt Forte back from injuries that had them out for the final quarter of last season and more, their colleagues in the NFC North are facing concerns in the other direction.

Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins is hoping to be coming back from a season-ending neck injury. But as recently as last week Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said, If Nick were my son, I would not let him play, and agent Alan Herman did not disagree, according to the Green Bay Post-Gazette.

The Minnesota Vikings have worries of their own with the linchpins of both their running and passing games. The news on rehab progress of running back Adrian Peterson after his December surgery to fix torn knee ligaments continues to be ostensibly positive. But this was major surgery on a high-mileage running back and as strong and diligent as Peterson is about rehab, the target date is generally the start of the season, and thats if everything remains to the good.

On top of that is reportedly minor shoulder surgery for Percy Harvin. The No. 1 receiver (87 receptions) broke the news via Twitter, then reassured with a followup tweet that he would be ready for organized team activities scheduled for May.

Thats encouraging, but as anyone going through shoulder issues knows only too well, its the most complex joint in the body and takes its own sweet time mending. Harvin was the entire focus of the offense last year when Peterson went down so his is a shoulder thats going to be doing some heavy lifting.

The Detroit Lions continue having significant issues at running back as Mikel Leshoure, their second-round pick out of Illinois last season, is facing felony drug possession charges that could lead to as much as a six-game league suspension.

Leshoure missed all of 2011 with a torn Achilles tendon and the Lions already are unsure of Jahvid Bests prospects after a concussion sidelined him last year as well.

Bears: Where does Kyle Fuller fit with Prince Amukamara back?

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USA TODAY

Bears: Where does Kyle Fuller fit with Prince Amukamara back?

Prince Amukamara (ankle) is expected to make his 2017 regular season debut against the Pittsburgh Steelers after being a full participant in practices Thursday and Friday (he wasn't listed on Friday's injury report). But that leads to the question: What does defensive coordinator Vic Fangio do with Kyle Fuller?

Fuller acquitted himself well in starts against the Atlanta Falcons — in which he helped limit Julio Jones to four catches on five targets — and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bears signed Amukamara to start opposite Marcus Cooper, but Fuller has at least earned the opportunity to keep his job — or a job — on Sunday. 

And it's worth noting that both Fuller and Amukamara are in contract years, so both should be motivated to not lose playing time going forward. 

“I was pleased with the waay Kyle played overall,” Fangio said. “There's obviously some plays he'd like to do over and play them a little better, but overall I thought he did a good job. I like where he's at right now.”

Fangio didn’t play Fuller as a nickel corner in 2015. But if the Bears want to get their best defensive players on the field could Fuller force his way into a nickel role with Amukamara and Cooper as the outside guys? 

That’s an especially pertinent question given Pittsburgh’s explosive trio of receivers: Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and JuJu Smith-Schuster. 

“No matter where a receiver lines up, it’s not going to be a down to take off,” Amukamara said. “We’re always going to have to have our ‘A’ game.”

What Mitchell Trubisky learned in that pre-draft workout with Ben Roethlisberger

What Mitchell Trubisky learned in that pre-draft workout with Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger came away from his pre-draft workout with Mitchell Trubisky — the two share the same agent — impressed, an opinion which the longtime Pittsburgh Steelers detailed on Wednesday. The feeling was mutual for Trubisky. 

“Yeah, Big Ben’s awesome,” Trubisky said. “It was really special and really a privilege to learn from him. … “I’ve really looked up to him ever since he came out because he’s an Ohio guy as well. He came from Miami, Ohio. And it’s unique he was able to have success early on in his career and that’s what you try to duplicate as a quarterback coming into this league, and just how he carries himself, how competitive he is. I just try to take those things and hopefully add them into my own game as well.”

Roethlisberger — who went to high school in Findlay, Ohio, which is about two and a half hour west of Trubisky’s hometown of Mentor — won every game he started his rookie year and won his first of two Super Bowls a year later. Beyond his success quarterbacking the Steelers over these last 14 years, though, Trubisky felt he could learn something from how Roethlisberger has been a leader in Pittsburgh’s locker room. 

“(He) owns the locker room, no matter where you’re at,” Trubisky said. “I think it’s just the type of person you are. You’re competitive. You’re an alpha. You know how things are supposed to be done and you won’t settle for anything less than what has to be done. You’re settling for nothing less than excellence. That’s what he strives he for and, I mean, that’s what we’re all striving for.”

Eventually, the Bears expect Trubisky to command the locker room in the same fashion (he certainly has the self-belief and confidence to do so). And perhaps he'll have the same kind of trophy-driven success over a long period of time enjoyed by Roethlisberger, too. While Trubisky isn't in control of his career just yet, that was another lesson he took away from Roethlisberger.

"One of the big pieces of advice he gave me was really take control of your career," Trubisky said. "And I think that's kind of how he instills how he carries himself in the locker room, on the practice field, at the line of scrimmage. The play is going to go how he wants it and that's really how I want my career to go. Just exactly what you dream of, and take control and get everyone to buy into the same plan. I think that's how you create a winning culture -- really taking control, really taking ownership and hopefully that trickles down through the rest of the team."