Bears 1st-round pick Kyle Fuller, TE Zach Miller injured in 1st half
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter August 14, 2014 10:22PM
This is a 2014 photo of Kyle Fuller of the Chicago Bears NFL football team. This image reflects the Chicago Bears active roster as of Sunday, June 15, 2014 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)
Updated: August 17, 2014 9:55PM
Two noteworthy names were added to the Bears’ growing list of injured players Thursday during exhibition play against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Bears lost two of their best performers from training camp — rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller (right ankle) and tight end Zach Miller (left foot) — in the first half. It overshadowed a solid showing by quarterback Jay Cutler and a rough opening for the first-team defense.
Fuller said he should be OK after X-rays on his ankle were negative, but there was concern in the locker room over Miller’s foot injury.
It’s a tough break for a player who has battled various injuries since the 2011 season, including two stints on injured reserve.
Last week, Miller had six catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns against the Philadelphia Eagles. And he was even better during practices at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais.
Miller’s blocking needed work, but he started to emerge as a viable pass-catching threat, especially with wide receiver Marquess Wilson out with a broken collarbone.
“It’s heartbreaking,” quarterback and close friend Jordan Palmer said of Miller’s injury. “He’s had an unbelievable camp. When you come in off the streets, this is the camp you dream of.
“He was riding high and was so confident, and then you get one of those injuries where it’s not a work-ethic injury. It’s not because he’s out of shape; it’s not because of bad technique. It’s just a total bad-luck injury.
“But with the way that he’s handled this in the past, I know that he’s going to make the most of this. He’s going to heal quickly. He’s going to rehab. He’s going to do everything they ask him to do. And he’s going to contribute somewhere. If it’s here, hopefully he comes back.”
Fuller, the Bears’ first-round pick, said he suffered the injury during the opening kickoff. He wasn’t in a walking boot after the game. He was part of the first-team defense.
“He had a really good first game,” safety Ryan Mundy said. “I was very impressed. He was physical. He came up and tackled. We’ll get him back whenever he’s ready, and he’ll be a key part to our defense.”