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Bears sign arena league standout Malachi Jones, waive Matt Fleming

The Bears have made a switch at wide receiver a few days into training camp.

New Bears wide receiver Malachi Jones accomplished quite a bit in his first AFL season.
Gregory J. Fisher-SportsThroughT

The Chicago Bears made a roster move on Thursday, signing wide receiver Malachi Jones. As a corresponding move, they waived wide receiver Matt Fleming.

Jones was a member of the Arena Football League’s Albany Empire for the 2018 season. The six-foot-three, 215-pound wide out was named the AFL Rookie of the Year earlier this week after totaling 77 receptions, 1,156 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns. Jones’ receiving yards total was the best in the league, while his touchdown total was the second-highest. He also provided some value in the ground game, rushing for five touchdowns.

Jones spent 2017 as a member of the High County Grizzlies of the National Arena League. Prior to that, he played college football at Appalachian State, where he was an All-American at the FCS level.

Fleming was a standout track and field star in college, winning a Division III national championship as a member of the 4 x 100 meter relay team for Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois. He was also a talented football player, scoring at least one touchdown in eight of the ten games in which he played last season. Fleming went to high school at Simeon Career Academy in Chicago. He was signed by the Bears after impressing in rookie minicamp in April.