Marquess Wilson was preparing to earn one of the Bears’ hotly contested receiver spots and push his career forward by building on last year’s flashes of success.
That was derailed, though, when he re-fractured his left foot during minicamp practice Tuesday.
Coach John Fox announced the injury Wednesday after speaking to Wilson.
“Actually, his state of mind was pretty good … but obviously disappointed,” Fox said.
The fourth-year veteran is scheduled to have surgery Monday. He’ll probably begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list, and his availability for the start of the season is in major jeopardy.
If Wilson starts camp on active/PUP, the Bears could move him to the reserve/PUP list when they cut their roster to 75 in late August or 53 in September. If he were placed on reserve/PUP, he would have to miss at least the first six games. That seems a likely scenario, although Fox declined to put a timetable on Wilson’s recovery.
Wilson’s injury thins a receiving corps that still should feature one of the most competitive training camp roster battles of any position.
Behind Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White atop the depth chart, established NFL contributors such as Eddie Royal, Josh Bellamy and Marc Mariani are competing with second-year wideout Cameron Meredith, seventh-round draft pick Daniel Braverman and others. Plus, return man Deonte Thompson is fighting for a spot.
Wilson had 464 yards and a touchdown on 28 catches in 11 games (six starts) last season. He missed the final five games because of the foot, on which he had surgery in early December.
His long, natural stride appealed to then-general manager Phil Emery, who drafted Wilson in the seventh round of the 2013 draft.
Wilson has since flashed promise, showing straight-line speed and sufficient hands. However, injuries have been problematic. He missed nine games in 2014 with a broken right collarbone, which he injured diving for a pass during training camp.
With Wilson out, Bellamy and Meredith, in particular, are in line to get more reps. Coaches like Bellamy’s energy, toughness and ability as a gunner covering punts.
©2016 Chicago Tribune
Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.