To say the Chicago Bears are hurting at the tight end position is an understatement. They just placed starting tight end Trey Burton on the injured reserve list, and former second-round draft pick Adam Shaheen has been a healthy scratch from the team’s last two games due to his ineffectiveness.
Wednesday morning, the Bears signed undrafted rookie tight end Jesper Horsted to their active 53-man roster. Horsted became a fan favorite this preseason, and while he didn’t make the team initially, he was signed to the team’s practice squad. The tight end out of Princeton should get a shot in the final six games of the season to show what he’s got.
Horsted had some excellent catches for the Bears this preseason, and many seem excited about his potential now that he has finally been given a shot.
Horsted should get the start alongside Ben Braunecker against the New York Giants this weekend.
In three games this preseason, Horsted caught eight passes on 10 targets for 121 yards and two touchdowns. While at Princeton, he didn’t play much his freshman year, but he really took off in subsequent years. In his sophomore, junior and senior seasons combined, Horsted had 194 catches for 2,686 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Jesper Horsted Could Finally Provide Bears With Starting Tight End OptionTight end has been a sore spot for the Bears this season. After signing Trey Burton to a four-year $32 million contract in 2018, the Bears thought they had a solid option at the position. Burton had a solid first season with the Bears in 2018, catching 54 passes for 568 yards, and he was second on the team in touchdown catches with six.
As the Bears reached the playoffs, Burton went down with a groin injury, and he hasn’t been the same player since. He had offseason surgery to repair his groin, but has never quite been ready to go. When he also added a calf injury to his list of injuries this year, he was placed on injured reserve, effectively ending his season. Burton finished his 2019 campaign with 14 catches on 24 targets for 84 yards and no touchdowns.
He said in early November that he was well aware of his recent struggles, and he refused to make any excuses: “I don’t want to make any excuses for my play,” he said. “I know I’m not playing well.”
Adam Shaheen, a former second-round pick who has clearly never materialized, hasn’t fared much better. He has nine catches on 13 targets for 74 yards and no touchdowns. Shaheen will very likely be cut by the end of the season, especially if Horstead shows any kind of potential.