The Chicago Bears worked out eight players on the first day of their padded practice Monday, per NFL insider Albert Breer. The Bears had three quarterbacks listed on their tryouts list: undrafted free agents Kevin Hogan out of Stanford and Mason Fine out of North Texas, and Kyle Sloter, who spent time on both the Vikings and Lions practice squads.
The Bears also worked out a former favorite target of Mitch Trubisky at North Carolina, wide receiver Austin Proehl, who is also the son of former NFL wideout Ricky Proehl.
Today’s tryout list. pic.twitter.com/u1tlRNt6Jv
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) August 17, 2020
On today's personnel notice, #Bears listed 8 players in for tryouts, including former Notre Dame RB C.J. Prosise and a former Mitch Trubisky target at UNC – WR Austin Proehl, son of Ricky Proehl.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) August 17, 2020
One of the more interesting tryouts for Chicago was former Seattle Seahawks third-round pick, running back C.J. Prosise, who spent four seasons with Seattle before being released after the 2019 season.
In addition to Proehl, the team tried out three more wide receivers: Rodney Adams out of South Florida, wideout Alex Wesley — who they recently cut — and Oklahoma’s Jeff Bidet.
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The Trubisky – Proehl Connection: Could Bears Add Yet Another WR?
Proehl attended UNC from 2014-2017, and he played with Trubisky during the 2016 season. During his lone year with Trubisky under center, Proehl caught 43 passes for 597 yards and three touchdowns. Over his four years with the Tar Heels, Proehl amassed 1,265 yards on 91 receptions and five scores.
Despite the connection to Trubisky, the Bears are currently stacked at wideout, so a roster spot seems unlikely for Proehl. The practice squad, however, seems like a definite possibility. Proehl was drafted in the seventh round by the Buffalo Bills (255th overall pick) in 2018, and he was cut by the team later that year. He also spent minimal time on the practice squads of the Rams and Titans.
While it’s unlikely the Bears plan to add any of the receivers who tried out for the team to their roster, Prosise could be an intriguing piece, and he has a definite shot at making the team.
C.J. Prosise: Would RB Be a Good Fit in Chicago?
After the Mike Davis debacle of 2019, it’s unlikely Bears fans want to hear about any former Seahawks running backs for awhile. Still, Prosise could be a nice pass-catching option to backup David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen and potentially Cordarrelle Patterson, depending on Matt Nagy’s plans for him.
Prosise has had a pretty lengthy injury history, from multiple ankle injuries to fracturing his scapula in 2016 to breaking his forearm last season, so that’s one red flag that cannot be ignored. If he’s healthy, however, and his workout looked good, he could be an interesting potential piece — but his health will be key.
He started just two games over his four years with Seattle, playing in 25. Over that time, Prosise rushed for 264 yards on 65 carries (that’s 4.1 yards-per-carry) and two scores. He was more dangerous as a receiver, however, which is why he could be an option for Matt Nagy in a season where backups could mean everything. Prosise caught 36 passes for 393 yards, averaging just over 10 yards a catch in four seasons, but he could never stay on the field long enough to become a permanent fixture on the Seahawks offense.
The Bears are also be looking to find an improvement over third-string quarterback Tyler Bray, and it will be fascinating to see if Fine, Sloter, or Hogan can usurp him on the practice squad. Bray has the advantage of spending two seasons in Nagy’s offense, but it’s clear the Bears meant it when they said they intended to increase competition at every position this season.