Bears lose Marquess Wilson with broken clavicle
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter August 4, 2014 10:23PM
Updated: August 5, 2014 8:43AM
BOURBONNAIS — When Marquess Wilson crashed to the ground Monday, so did the Bears’ best chance of finding a reliable wide receiver alongside two Pro Bowl performers.
Until breaking his right clavicle during training camp at Olivet Nazarene University, Wilson was dynamic, having trained alongside Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery during the offseason in hopes of making the same jump the latter did last season.
Wilson landed on the ball after diving for a deep pass from Jay Cutler down the left sideline. Coach Marc Trestman advises against diving in practice — Wilson said he “probably shouldn’t have done it” — but both said it’s almost impossible to show restraint in the moment.
Neither the second-year receiver nor the team would say how much time he would be out — or if he would require surgery — but Wilson figures to miss at least the start of the season.
“You’ve just got to look at it, and you can’t be down on it,” Wilson said, his right shoulder in a sling. “You’ve got to feed off of this and come back even stronger.”
The Bears are left with a smattering of in-house candidates to play alongside the league’s best pass-catching duo. None is as tantalizing as Wilson, whose promise outshone his two catches as a rookie.
Josh Morgan is two years removed from leading the Redskins with 48 catches. Micheal Spurlock has 46 career catches, but none since 2012. Armanti Edwards — like Spurlock, more of a kick-return candidate — has six.
Neither Josh Bellamy, Dale Moss nor Chris Williams has an NFL reception.
Only second-teamer Eric Weems has ever caught a pass as a Bear. He has three.
“Eric is not just a returner,” Trestman said of the 5-9 special-teams specialist. “He’s a very good receiver in terms of route running. The quarterbacks trust him. He plays bigger than his overall size. The guys are comfortable working with him.”
Trestman wouldn’t handicap a race that might see an outside candidate — Earl Bennett is among those on the free-agent market — added to the mix.
“Being fair to them, we have to see more before we start putting together an analysis of where they are,” he said. “They’ve done a great job of digesting the offense, they’re getting lined up right, running the right routes. They’re catching the ball pretty darn well.”
Nowhere near as well as Wilson.
“Those are going to be some hard shoes for us to fill because he’s been doing a great job,” tight end Martellus Bennett said. “It’s hard for a young man like that who has been coming on, giving us everything he has every single day.
“He’s been making excellent plays and stepping up every time that he had a chance, whether it’s a jump ball, underneath, knowing his assignments, where to be.
“Another guy has a chance early in camp to step up, to find out who that guy is going to be.”