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The Bear’s Den: January 18, 2017 - Is Marquess Wilson gone?

Is Marquess Wilson gone or does Chicago bring back the oft-injured WR?

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Chicago Bears Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Den will be taking a look at one of the Chicago Bears' 2017 unrestricted free agents (UFA's) and restricted free agents (RFA's) each day until we have knocked out the list.

I will be talking about the player, whether I personally would sign the player and to what contract, and what my best guess the Bears will do with him.

Today's UFA is Marquess Wilson, the enigmatic talented-yet-fragile young wide receiver for the Chicago Bears. It’s hard to believe that a guy who has played out his rookie contract is as young as Wilson still is, he’s only 24 at the age of this writing.

Wilson’s career path has been all about two things in Chicago, potential and injuries... most specifically, three injuries to the same leg.

According to his Bears bio, Wilson was a 2013 seventh-rounder (and one of the few surviving Phil Emery picks on the roster), Wilson has appeared in 28 games, starting 13 of them. For his career he has 47 receptions for 617 yards and 2 touchdowns. He made his NFL debut October 6, 2013 vs. New Orleans, and recorded his first catch October 20, 2013 at the New York Giants and his first touchdown catch December 15, 2014 vs. New Orleans... Wilson notched his first 100-yard receiving game November 22, 2015 vs. Denver (102 yards)... 2015 saw him with career-highs in receptions (28) and receiving yards (464).

His biggest career game came recently in week 12, the Bears 27-21 loss to Tennessee, where he grabbed 8 catches for 124 yards and a TD. The next game, against San Francisco, Wilson re-injured his leg and was done for the year.

Interspersed with all of this has been three lengthy stays on IR. He managed to play in 31 games out of the 64 he was eligible for.

The most troubling part of Wilson’s career path isn’t just the three injuries, it’s the fact that all three injuries have happened to his left foot. Is there an underlying structural issue? I don’t know.

Bottom line, without writing a 300-page thesis on a backup wideout, the Bears will have to determine if his obvious skills are worth the hassle of dealing with his frequent injuries. Wilson is an effective lower-order WR and spot starter, but his special-teams value is nil.

Would I bring Wilson back next year? I would sign him to the 90-man vet-minimum and let him try to win a job next year. I also wouldn’t be in the least upset if they don’t.

Do I think the Bears will bring him back? Probably not. They are more likely to move on.



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