Mar 4, 2024; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Emeka Egbuka tosses a ball to Marvin Harrison Jr. at the start of spring practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

Bears host Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr.

Ohio State wideout Marvin Harrison Jr. visited the Chicago Bears at Halas Hall on Monday, representing one of the franchise’s “top 30” visits permitted by the NFL prior to the April 25 draft.

Harrison is projected as a top-10 selection in the 2024 NFL Draft. The debate of the No. 1 receiver in the class centers on LSU’s Malik Nabers, who has also visited the Bears, and Harrison, the progeny of Pro Football Hall of Famer and longtime Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison.

The younger Harrison shredded the Big Ten for 155 receptions, 2,613 yards and 31 touchdowns in three seasons. He set the Buckeyes’ career record with 15 100-yard receiving games.

He was a back-to-back All-American in 2022 and 2023 and a Heisman Trophy finalist last year, but Harrison has been mostly idle on the pre-draft circuit. He didn’t run at the Scouting Combine or his pro day but most teams reserve the right to request a complete workout when prospects visit the team facility.

The Bears hold the first and ninth picks in the first round with most of the doubt around the No. 1 pick erased as Chicago continues to signal USC quarterback Caleb Williams is the selection, barring a significant trade offer.

–Field Level Media

Nov 26, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Rams center Coleman Shelton (65) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Bears reach 1-year deal with C Coleman Shelton

The Bears agreed to terms with former Los Angeles Rams center Coleman Shelton on a one-year contract Thursday.

Shelton, 28, started 30 games in the past two seasons. The Bears did not disclose terms of the deal, which is pending the results of a physical.

He will provide competition for Ryan Bates at the position in Chicago. The Bears acquired Bates earlier this month in a trade with the Buffalo Bills.

The 6-foot-4, 299-pound Shelton signed with the Rams in 2019 and played in 73 games (32 starts). He won a ring in Super Bowl LVI.

–Field Level Media

Dec 17, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Chicago Bears safety Eddie Jackson (4) catches the ball during warm ups before the game against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears release veterans S Eddie Jackson, OL Cody Whitehair

The Chicago Bears said goodbye Thursday to two of their longest-tenured veterans, releasing offensive lineman Cody Whitehair and safety Eddie Jackson, the team announced Thursday.

Both players were drafted by the Bears and have spent their entire careers in Chicago.

The moves reportedly saved the Bears — who have the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft — $21.71 million against the 2024 salary cap. The Bears now have $67 million in available cap space, third-most in the league, according to Over the Cap.

Jackson, 30, came to the Bears in 2017 as a fourth-round pick out of Alabama. All 100 appearances over seven seasons were starts, and he racked up 459 tackles, 15 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries.

Named first-team All-Pro in 2018 and to the Pro Bowl in 2018 and 2019, Jackson’s six defensive touchdowns tied him with Lance Briggs for third in Bears history, behind only Charles Tillman (nine) and Mike Brown (seven).

A foot injury ended Jackson’s 2022 season in Week 12 and limited him to 12 games in 2023, when he notched 37 tackles, one interception and five pass breakups.

Whitehair, 31, was drafted out of Kansas State in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He played both center and guard in 124 games (118 starts) over eight seasons with the Bears.

Whitehair was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2018, when the Bears finished 12-4 on the way to the NFC North title.

The moves make long-snapper Patrick Scales, who joined the team in 2015, the longest-tenured Bear.

–Field Level Media

Dec 17, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Chicago Bears cornerback Kyler Gordon (6) and cornerback Terell Smith (32) tackle Cleveland Browns running back Pierre Strong Jr. (20) during the first quarter at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Browns come on strong late to edge past Bears

Joe Flacco overcame three interceptions to guide a fourth-quarter comeback and Dustin Hopkins made the go-ahead field goal from 34 yards for the host Cleveland Browns to top the Chicago Bears 20-17 on Sunday.

Flacco finished the day 28-for-44 passing for 372 yards and two touchdowns for the Browns (9-5), who have won five of seven games. David Njoku caught 10 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown and Amari Cooper added four receptions for 109 yards and a score.

The Browns fought past a strong defensive effort by Chicago (5-9), which got 2.5 sacks from Montez Sweat and an interception return for a touchdown by Terrel Edmunds. The Bears were eliminated from playoff contention.

Down 17-10, the Browns stayed alive when Flacco threw between defenders to Cooper, who sprinted down the right sideline for a 51-yard touchdown with 3:08 left in regulation.

Cleveland forced a three-and-out and got the ball back with 1:50 to go. Flacco found Njoku on third-and-15, and the tight end barreled ahead for 34 yards to get the Browns into range for the game-winning kick with 32 seconds left.

Chicago’s Justin Fields chucked a Hail Mary on the last play of the game, and Bears receiver Darnell Mooney nearly corralled it on the ground but lost control and watched it land in the hands of Browns defensive back D’Anthony Bell.

The Browns outgained the Bears 377-236 despite netting just 29 rushing yards. Fields had 166 yards on 19-of-40 passing for one touchdown and two interceptions.

There was no score until the second quarter. Flacco’s throw landed in the bread basket of defender Eddie Jackson, who returned it from the Browns’ 28-yard line to the 1.

The Bears got pushed back to the 5 before Fields escaped Myles Garrett’s would-be sack and hit Cole Kmet in the back-left corner of the end zone.

Cleveland responded with a 12-play, 84-yard drive. Flacco finished the job with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Njoku, tying it 7-7 with 3:48 before halftime.

Fields drove Chicago to the Cleveland 37, but the Bears turned down a long field-goal attempt with 3 seconds left and had Fields try a Hail Mary. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah came down with a pick.

In just the second minute of the second half, Flacco’s short pass to Cedric Tillman was jarred loose and caught by Edmunds, who ran 45 yards for his first career pick-6 to put Chicago back in front.

Cairo Santos added a 41-yard field goal with 7:07 left in the third quarter.

Chicago’s Trent Taylor muffed a punt that Mohamoud Diabate recovered for Cleveland in the red zone, but on the next play, Flacco’s throw toward the goal line was intercepted by rookie Tyrique Stevenson.

Flacco tossed a deep pass to Marquise Goodwin for 57 yards, setting up Hopkins for a 33-yard field goal with 12:27 left to go.

–Field Level Media

Nov 5, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young (9) throws during the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Future front and center as Panthers visit Bears

When the opportunity to start over with Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud at quarterback presented itself, the Chicago Bears surrendered the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft to the Carolina Panthers.

Young and the Panthers (1-7) visit the Bears (2-7) on Thursday night, and once again draft ramifications are of greater significance than the playoff picture.

The Bears in effect put their chips behind quarterback Justin Fields for a make-or-break 2023 season with the safety net, courtesy of the trade with Carolina, of having multiple first-round picks in 2024 to potentially re-address the position. If the season ended Thursday, the Bears would draft No. 2 and No. 3 overall, the higher pick by way of Carolina. The Arizona Cardinals (1-8) are the only team ahead of Chicago in the draft order nine weeks into the season.

“When you find your quarterback, you’ve got to go all in. You can’t look back. When you find the quarterback that you want, you have to be willing to make that deal,” Panthers coach Frank Reich said Tuesday, lamenting the deal did cost Carolina No. 1 wide receiver DJ Moore.

Fields might have earned no better than an incomplete for his season to date. He had two four-TD games in a row before being sidelined in a loss to the Vikings on Oct. 15. Chicago started undrafted rookie backup Tyson Bagent the past three games with Fields recovering from a dislocated right thumb. Fields has practiced in a limited capacity since last Friday.

Fields also has six interceptions and two fumbles, and has been sacked three-plus times in every game he’s played this season.

He is far from the only reason the Bears are coming up short. Chicago had zero sacks and zero takeaways at New Orleans last week and lost 24-17 to the Saints. General manager Ryan Poles is confident newly acquired defensive end Montez Sweat can be a building block as the Bears search for more pillars.

Every decision likely feels critical right now for head coach Matt Eberflus, who is 5-21 with the Bears and 1-9 in games decided by eight or fewer points.

Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said he’ll have a plan that suits Fields in the event the team clears him for Thursday. Getsy said Bagent had a “solid game” against the Saints and has the confidence of his teammates.

“That’s the cool part about how we put this thing together at the very beginning. We felt like we put it all out there for our guys and can take this thing in a few directions,” Getsy said. “From everybody else’s perspective in that room other than the two quarterbacks, it’s not going to feel like it’s a different game plan by any means if we go one direction or another (at quarterback).”

Tight end Cole Kmet has 16 receptions for 134 yards and two touchdowns in the past two games and is a player the Panthers are circling on the scouting report along with Moore, a very familiar threat.

“I just know from the tape — big-time playmaker,” Reich said of Moore, whom he never coached. “Truly one of those guys who can do it all. There’s nothing he can’t do. Really great player. Then of course, you hear about the person. He made quite an impression in this building on the type of person he was.”

Getsy said “accuracy was easy” for Young when the Bears scouted his pro day at Alabama, calling him a natural passer.

Young has experienced a rough introduction to the NFL as a rookie with two pick-6s in last week’s loss to the Colts. He also has 20-plus completions in all seven of his starts. He was sacked four times last week, and said he’s focused on “making sure I get the ball out of my hands.”

“We all take ownership in it,” Young said. “One thing I love about this team, players and coaches, we’re all looking at ways to get better and it starts with me.”

Edge rusher Brian Burns (concussion) and wide receivers DJ Chark (elbow) and Laviska Shenault Jr. (ankle) are among seven Panthers players who missed practice Tuesday. The Bears’ biggest concern outside Fields is linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who sat out and could miss his second straight game with a knee injury.

–Field Level Media

Chicago Bears center Doug Kramer (68) quarterback Tyson Bagent (17) celebrate a touchdown by Bagent during the first half of an NFL preseason game Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Bears activate OL Doug Kramer (thumb) from injured reserve

Chicago offensive lineman Doug Kramer is closer to making his NFL debut after the Bears activated him from injured reserve on Saturday.

Kramer had gone on injured reserve (thumb) on Oct. 9 and has missed the first six games for the Bears (1-5), who host the Las Vegas Raiders (3-3) on Sunday. Kramer was a full participant at practice this week. He had started the final two preseason games at left guard and center.

The Bears selected Kramer in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft out of Illinois. He spent the 2022 season on injured reserve with a lower leg injury.

In other moves, the Bears released offensive lineman Austen Pleasants from the practice squad, and elevated defensive back Joejuan Williams to the game-day active roster after re-signing him to the practice squad.

The Bears had signed Williams off the Minnesota Vikings’ practice squad on Sept. 27. He was released Friday and re-signed Saturday.

–Field Level Media

Dec 18, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears cornerback Kyler Gordon (6) celebrates his fumble recovery in the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Bears activate CB Kyler Gordon from IR

The Chicago Bears activated second-year cornerback Kyler Gordon from injured reserve on Saturday after he missed the past four games with a broken hand.

Gordon had surgery after breaking the hand in the Bears’ Week 1 home loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 10.

He returned to practice this week, and the Bears (1-4) had 21 days to activate him off IR. He was limited in practices Wednesday and Thursday, a full participant on Friday and not given any injury designation for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings (1-4).

A second-round selection by Chicago in the 2022 NFL Draft out of Washington, Gordon, 23, started all 14 games he played in last season and totaled 71 tackles and three interceptions. He had one tackle against the Packers before his injury.

–Field Level Media