Brandon Marshall may not have a good fix on his role or his hip. Alshon Jeffery may not have a full NFL season on his resume. And Earl Bennett may still be at some risk with his concussion of earlier this month.
The Bears have other issues to resolve right now, as in Thursday. Bennett’s and Marshall’s statuses simply underscore the need to address those issues.
Even assuming Bennett and Marshall are fully ready for the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 8, the Bears still do not have a wide receiver with more than perfunctory experience at the NFL level. More important, they have had precious few indications from candidates that quality backup for Bennett, Jeffery and Marsall is in place.
[REPORT: Bears having discussions about Bennett]
“There’s some talented guys in the bunch,” said offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. “Hopefully this week we can get them some balls and let them put it on tape.”
Joe Anderson was moved onto the roster late last season and has had flashes this preseason and training camp. Rookie Marquess Wilson has made steady progress and has grasped the importance of special teams as a way to both make the team and to dress on game days.
Eric Weems has been a factor on special teams but only caught two passes last season.
Anderson, Weems and Wilson rate as the unofficial leaders in the push for spots on the depth chart. To track their progress, watch what the coaches are watching:
Special-teams impact and “if we can catch it and secure it and run the offense,” Kromer said. “That’ll show that they can fit in and make a team or our team.”