As the weather gets colder, evidently the Bears get far healthier.
After suffering a sprained foot way back in Week 3 of the preseason, the Bears’ Adam Shaheen is likely to make his return to practice this week, reports Mark Grote of 670 The Score. The big tight end originally had an 8-10 week timeline at the outset of his injury and has now progressed well enough to begin the process of his full-fledged return. He’ll be one of the Bears’ two players they can activate off of injured reserve in the second half of the season. That’s for those monitoring a Kyle Long comeback.
While the Bears are incredibly thin at tight end at the moment with both Dion Sims and Ben Braunecker dealing with concussions, don’t expect Shaheen to play this Sunday against the Lions. This week is more about easing the 24-year-old, 6-foot-6, 269 pounder back into the flow of things. Any practice now is a great sign, however, for seeing action against the Vikings on Sunday Night Football the following weekend.
Shaheen’s presence should be welcome for a Bears offense seeking another dimension as it enters a crucial stretch of NFC and NFC North play. The Bears can use a variety of double tight end formations with Shaheen and veteran Trey Burton, and maximize Shaheen’s jump ball ability in the red zone. The more weapons for Matt Nagy, Mitchell Trubisky, and friends, the merrier.
In other injury updates, two big Bears stars in Khalil Mack and Allen Robinson are officially day-to-day, said Matt Nagy on Monday. Mack and Robinson have missed Chicago’s last two games against the Jets and Bills to rest respective ankle and groin injuries. Every underlying sign has pointed towards the Bears coaching staff getting this duo prepared for a divisional stretch against the Lions, Vikings, and Lions in 11 days, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
Barring a setback through the rest of this week, expect both Mack and Robinson to make their returns to the starting lineup this Sunday for a Bears team loading up. A team sitting at 5-3 and in first place in the NFC North could do much worse than getting back three major contributors in the span of the next week or so.
Once again, everything is coming up Bears.
Robert is the Editor-in-chief of The Blitz Network (subscribe here!), the managing editor of Windy City Gridiron, and writes for a host of other fine publications. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.