LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears' next man up philosophy at wide receiver is being put to the test.
The Bears could sign a free agent wide receiver off the street in the coming days, but here is where the depth chart currently stands:
1. Markus Wheaton: The Bears better hope Wheaton’s finger is healed enough for him to play in Week 2. Wheaton told us last week that he just started catching real footballs again after rehabbing with Nerf footballs since he underwent surgery to fix his broken pinkie finger last month. Wheaton went through a vigorous pregame conditioning workout before the Falcons game, so he’s probably in good enough shape to contribute -- as long as he can catch the ball with his hands. The Bears paid Wheaton $6 million for 2017. He’s got to help fill the void.
2. Josh Bellamy: Bellamy caught three passes for 27 yards in Week 1, but he couldn’t come down with the potential game-winning touchdown on first-and-goal from the 5-yard line. Bellamy’s best spot is on special teams.
3. Deonte Thompson: Like Bellamy, Thompson is a valuable contributor on special teams. He had one reception for 15 yards versus the Falcons. Last year, Thompson had a career-high 22 catches for 249 yards and two touchdowns, but again, he’s more of an emergency wide receiver.
4. Tre McBride: The Bears just claimed McBride off waivers from Tennessee. He appeared in seven games from 2015-16 with the Titans and had two receptions for eight yards and one touchdown. McBride was inactive in Week 1.
5. Tanner Gentry: Could the undrafted rookie out of Wyoming see a promotion? Gentry had a productive preseason with four receptions for 77 yards and one touchdown. He frequently stood out on the practice field, but he cleared waivers last week, allowing the Bears to bring him back on the practice squad.