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The Chicago Bears have dealt with injuries at wide receiver, which has allowed players further down the depth chart opportunities to shine. Tajae Sharpe and Dazz Newsome are two of those players who have boosted their stock as they look for a roster spot.
Sharpe has emerged as one of quarterback Justin Fields’ new weapons during training camp, and it translated to the field during the preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Sharpe caught both passes thrown his way for 44 yards, including an impressive sideline grab from Fields. He’s showing why he deserves a spot on the roster — and involvement on offense.
“Smart guy,” said wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert, via ChicagoBears.com. “He knows the offense well. He can play any position. We have him more on the outside, X and Z. He has some vet savviness to him, kind of knows what defenses are going to do to him sometimes. [He’s] one of the most experienced guys in the room. He’s been in NFL games before, made NFL plays before, scored NFL touchdowns before, so he knows how to go in there and play.”
Newsome didn’t get off to the most reassuring start in the preseason opener. Newsome, who’s listed as the starting punt returner, muffed a punt and then lost 10 yards when he tried to gain yardage.
But Newsome rebounded with a solid offensive showing, where he had one reception for 10 yards and a touchdown. He also added one rush for 13 yards.
“You’re showing that you have confidence in him,” Tolbert said. “Everybody makes mistakes. Players make mistakes, coaches make mistakes. It’s the next play up. You have to be able to go onto the next play. We want to show him that we have the confidence in him for him to make some plays, and he did. He responded well to that little bit of adversity he had on that punt in the game. We’re glad to see that.”
Newsome should get plenty of reps against the Seahawks where starters are going to be limited. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear Sharpe will suit up for Thursday’s game as he’s day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.
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