Armando Allenm,Billy Winn
The fog of the Fendi Onobun question didn’t lift the way the Bears had hoped during their 18-16 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday at Soldier Field.
Instead, as the team looks to cut down to 53 players, what to do with the super-athletic third-string tight end is no clearer than it has been all month.
“There’s a light there,” coach Marc Trestman said. “And when that light switch goes on, he’s got a chance to be a very good player.
“We’ve got tough decisions to make.’’
On one hand, Onobun, who was held without a catch in three preseason games, caught four of eight passes thrown his way for 45 yards. On the other, three passes that hit his hands didn’t stay there. Two fell to the turf.
The third landed in the arms of the Browns’ James-Michael Johnson, who returned it 23 yards for a third-quarter touchdown. From there, the Browns scored 16 of the last 19 points, winning on Spencer Lanning’s 40-yard field goal with 3:15 left.
“I knew it was going to be an opportunity to show what I was capable of, and I knew I was going to be playing the entire game,” said Onobun, a former Arizona basketball player who switched to football as a grad student. “I wanted to go out there stress-free and show what I can do. … I felt like I showed some resiliency by coming back and making a couple plays.”
General manager Phil Emery said Onobun is “very defined as a developmental player” with “a lot of skills.”
“But,” he added, “a lot of things he has to get better at.”