Bear Necessities: Darnell Mooney welcomes challenge that comes with being WR1

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When the Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers face off on Sunday, it’ll be a battle between two Mooneys: Bears receiver Darnell Mooney and 49ers cornerback Charvarius “Mooney” Ward.

“Mooney on Mooney, who you’ve got? Take the real Mooney, ‘Big Mooney,'” Ward said with a laugh Monday, via The Mercury News. “It’s going to be fun. I haven’t played against him yet.”

Not many are familiar with Chicago’s Mooney, even despite his first 1,000-yard season in 2021. But that could surely change this season as Mooney is thrust into the spotlight as the Bears’ WR1 following the departure of Allen Robinson in free agency.

With the WR1 label comes the extra attention from opposing defenses, and Mooney is ready should Ward shadow him during Sunday’s opener. In fact, he embraces the challenge.

“I love that,” he said, via Nicholas Moreano. “Obviously when you have one-on-one battles throughout the whole game and you’re not winning most of the time and you’re a DB, that will get to your head.”

With Ward being San Francisco’s shutdown corner, he understands that he’s going to see plenty of Mooney come Sunday afternoon. And there’s plenty to contend with.

“He’s versatile and they move him around a lot,” Ward said of Mooney. “He’s a good route runner. He’s a complete receiver. He’s been growing as a players since he’s been in the league and I look forward to the competition.”

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire