The Wide(out) Implications of N’Keal Harry’s injury

Chicago Bears WR N’Keal Harry went down with a significant ankle injury during practice on Saturday. Harry went down after being tackled and had to be helped off the field. On Sunday afternoon, it was confirmed that Harry had suffered a serious sprain, with potential to miss the first couple weeks of the regular season. Harry will undergo further evaluation to determine his recovery period.

  This is an extremely unfortunate turn of events for the first round pick, as Harry was slated for a fresh start in Chicago with plenty of opportunities for him. However, this is sadly not a new challenge for Harry, as he has gotten injured at training camp or preseason in three out of the four seasons he played with the New England Patriots. While this is a bad break for both the Bears and for Harry, he seems to have thankfully avoided a serious injury that would cause him to miss a majority of the year.

  Nonetheless, with so many new faces on the offense, developing chemistry is a necessity for such an inexperienced team. So while Harry recovers (hopefully quickly), other receivers are in line to carve out a role for themselves.

  While many Bears fans, including myself, were initially high on newcomer Byron Pringle because of his speed and experience with the Kansas City Chiefs offense, the addition of Equanimeous St. Brown has really impressed the Bears staff. St. Brown has taken first team snaps along with QB Justin Fields, clicking together in the red zone quickly. Fields praised St. Brown’s football intelligence and playmaking abilities during a press conference. St. Brown’s familiarity with new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s playbook is also advantageous, due to their shared time together on the Green Bay Packers.

  While Pringle recovers from a quad injury, the Bears’ third round draft pick Velus Jones Jr. also has potential to step up in Chicago’s offense this season. Jones was drafted out of Tennessee and possesses game-changing speed, running an above-average 4.31 second 40-yard dash. He has adjusted to the Bears offense well so far, taking first team snaps as well as connecting with Fields on a long touchdown catch during Friday’s practice. A speedster that will spread out the defense or run after a screen pass can expand Getsy’s schemes and create a wider range of attack.

  While all football fans send N’Keal Harry their best wishes, this leaves a hole in the receiver spot for the start of the season. With Darnell Mooney locked in at WR1, the other open spots are still up for grabs. Although Harry’s injury is certainly a setback, the new additions by the Bears have the receiving corps in better shape than the start of last year.

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