The 2014 Bears were dealt their first dose of adversity yesterday when 2nd year Wide Receiver Marquess Wilson went down with a fractured clavicle. Later on in practice star Tight End Martellus Bennett and rookie Cornerback Kyle Fuller got into a scrum after they took turns taking each other to the ground. The two were restrained by teammates.
The adversity was just getting started though. Today GM Phil Emery announced Bennett will be suspended indefinitely from team activities. It’s a move that is particularly surprising but perhaps needed. This was something that might have been smoldering under the radar for a few days. I attended Bears Family Fest on Saturday and mentioned to my friend that Bennett was “moping” back to the huddle after several plays. His body language seemed to be one of a player not too engaged in the practice. If I noticed this, I’m sure Bears coaches caught it too. This is not the attitude they want players to show in practice, especially a public one. It can’t and shouldn’t be tolerated. If Bennett was not a star player, he would probably be on the street right now. In addition to that, it was the second straight practice that had two teammates go after each other.
This comes particularly at a bad time, since Wilson is out. The Bears go from having 4 reliable targets who are 6’3″ or taller to only having 2 in the span of 24 hours. Of course, in the NFL, every injury is an opportunity for someone else to emerge and get the chance to prove themselves. It’s also good to have this adversity early in camp, when you can work through it and learn from it without it costing you a mark on your permanent record. Hopefully the Bennett suspension ends the trend of skirmishing in camp and is something the team can bond over.