The 2017 season went wrong for the Bears in so many different ways, it was almost comical.
First, before the players even went to training camp, Chicago signed career backup quarterback, Mike Glennon, to a contract for 3 years worth 45 million dollars. A closer look at that deal reveals that the Bears will pay Glennon 15 million per year and 937,500 dollars per game. If Trubisky does not miss any time in the two more years Glennon has on his contract, Glennon will have started only four games and will get 30 million dollars for sitting on the bench for the next two seasons.
Next, two starting wide receivers, Cameron Meredith and Kevin White both went down with season-ending injuries, Meredith in training camp and White in the first contest of the regular season, a 23-17 loss at home to the Falcons. Meredith tore the ACL in his right knee while White fractured his left shoulder blade, on a catch, fittingly, for no gain.
The injuries to the receivers forced in Pittsburgh Steelers reject Markus Wheaton when he was healthy, which wasn’t often. The Bears also signed Dontrelle Inman from the Chargers, who actually worked out well. Tre McBride III was brought up from the practice squad and really only had one good game against the Saints. The only steady receiver this year was Kendall Wright whom the Bears acquired from the Titans in the offseason. Wright tallied 54 receptions, 585 yards, but only one touchdown for the season.
The offensive line, although not as severely as the receiving core, was banged up as well. And the worst injury was not only one but multiple that star Kyle Long suffered. He was finally put on injured reserve after hurting his neck during the week 13 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. Long underwent surgery on December 20, 2017. No timetable has been set for his return.
With no injuries to report in the offensive backfield, it’s time for me to move to the defensive side of the ball.
Let’s start with the linebackers. The three opening day starters Willie Young, Danny Trevathan, and Leonard Floyd, with Jerrell Freeman ending his season in training camp due to an injury, all missed significant time this season. Two of them, Young and Floyd sustained season-ending injuries at different points in the year. Young suffered a torn triceps muscle in week four against the Packers and rookie Leonard Floyd sprained both the PCL and MCL in his right knee in week 11 against the Lions. Trevathan missed four weeks with various injuries.
The only injury on the defensive line was Mitch Unrein being placed on IR after the 49ers game when he reaggravated an ongoing knee injury.
The defensive backfield was also riddled with injuries this season. Kyle Fuller was injured prior to the first game of the season, and as for opening day starters, Quintin Demps was put on IR after week 4, Prince Amukamara missed 2 games, Adrian Amos missed 3 games, Marcus Cooper Sr. wasn’t as good as the Bears thought he was, and Eddie Jackson stayed healthy all year.
Even though the Bears had a very poor record of 5-11, it wasn’t all bad for them this year.
On the offensive side of the ball, we saw the emergence of Jordan Howard, the start to a bright career for Mitch Trubisky, and flashes of the athletic ability that Tarik Cohen possesses.
Howard finished with 1,122 yards and 9 touchdowns, averaging 4.1 yards per rush. His best game came in the week 14 win over the Bengals when he ran for 147 yds and 2 TD on 23 carries.
Trubisky tallied 2,193 yds, seven TD, and seven INT in 12 games this year.
Cohen, although not the featured back, was the return man for both kickoffs and punts for most of the season. He ended the year with 370 yds on the ground, two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown. Cohen also threw a touchdown and returned a punt for a score.
The best individual performance of the season came from rookie safety Eddie Jackson. In week six against the Panthers, he returned a fumble for a touchdown. But he wasn’t done. Later he returned an interception for 76 yards and his second touchdown of the game.
Now that the season has come to a close, the Bears will most likely be looking for a new coach, and that will bring a total reboot offensively for them. Hopefully, change is good for the Bears in 2018.