The Chicago Bears will report to training camp in just a couple of weeks, and they will have their top returning wide receiver from the last two years back and as healthy as ever.
“I’m feeling good. I’m ready to roll,” Darnell Mooney said in a recent interview with WGN’s Kaitlin Sharkey at his youth football camp.
Mooney injured his ankle on November 27, 2022, and had season-ending tightrope surgery shortly after. Our colleague Dr. Mason West described the procedure last year when former Bear wide out N’Keal Harry had a similar surgery.
Mooney had been rehabbing with safety Eddie Jackson — who was cleared last month — he was working out some at Halas Hall, and he has also been doing some work with Justin Fields and other receivers away from the facility. So once camp opens, it should be a smooth transition getting acclimated to his teammates.
“I’ve been with guys – Justin and all them. It’ll be the same thing. I’m not looking like, ‘Oh my God! I’m finally out there with them.’ It’s fun. It’s going to be normal to me. Just ready to get everything in line with the whole team – all 11 players.”
Mooney has shared several pictures and videos of his workout on social media, and he appears to have added some muscle to his 5’11”, 173-pound frame.
A season ago, he had 40 receptions, 493 yards, and two touchdowns in 12 games, but in 2021 he racked up 81 catches, 1,055 yards, and 4 TDs. His role could be different in 2023 with DJ Moore and Chase Claypool on the roster, but his connection with Fields is real. Mooney has built a relationship with his fellow receivers this offseason as well.
“It’s important because usually it’s just me and Justin. There are a lot more other guys out there now. I’m happy about that. Guys just willing to work. You see a lot of faces. Even with our guys coming back from last year – it’s just a different feeling. Some guys that I probably didn’t like at first, I grew a relationship with them. I know their character. I know why they act that way. I love them for the way they are.”
It’s an interesting interview, and you can check it out here: