Fuller (knee) may not be on Chicago's Week 1 roster, Brad Biggs of The Chicago Tribune reports.
Selected 14th overall in the 2014 draft, Fuller appeared to be on his way to stardom when he recorded 64 tackles, four interceptions and three forced fumbles as a rookie. He took a major step back in 2015 -- both statistically and in terms of his work in coverage -- and then missed the entire 2016 season after having arthroscopic knee surgery in mid-August. He was expected to return from the surgery at some point during the season, and his failure to do so seemed to draw the ire of Chicago's coaching staff, with head coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio both subtly questioning the cornerback's desire to play. Drafted by Chicago's previous front office regime, Fuller will have to re-prove himself during offseason workouts and training camp to avoid being released or traded before the upcoming season. Bears general manager Ryan Pace did say the team discussed the possibility of moving Fuller to safety, but there aren't any plans to move forward with a position change. The 25-year-old likely will have to compete for playing time at cornerback amongst a position group that added Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper in the offseason.
Fuller (knee) was placed on injured reserve Wednesday, Jeff Dickerson of ESPN reports.
Fuller's previous stint on IR ended Wednesday and the Bears simply placed him back on IR immediately, which means he won't be returning at any point during the final two weeks of the season. The 24-year-old was unable to make any appearances in 2016 while dealing with his knee rehabilitation and now heads into the offseason with two years remaining on his current contract with the Bears.
Fuller's level of desire seems to be a matter of concern with coaches, as the team has many players who consistently play through pain, such as cornerback Tracy Porter, who has his knee drained weekly. Fuller was expected to easily be healthy enough to play, especially since the team cleared him to return to practice on November 30, which opened a 21-day window in which he was allowed to be moved to the active roster. After a disappointing 2015 season that had him benched at one point, his inability to be ready to play this season will surely raise concerns about his role on the team in 2017.
Head coach John Fox said Fuller (knee) is practicing well and hasn't experienced any setbacks in his recovery from knee surgery.
Fuller returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since being shelved on injured reserve in late September. However, it isn't certain when he may be able to play again. Nonetheless, the fact that he hasn't taken any steps backwards bodes well for his chances of playing again in 2016.
|P2||8/19/17||@ ARI||10:00 pm|
|P3||8/27/17||@ TEN||1:00 pm|
|2||9/17/17||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|4||9/28/17||@ GB||8:25 pm|
|6||10/15/17||@ BAL||1:00 pm|
|8||10/29/17||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 9|
|12||11/26/17||@ PHI||1:00 pm|
|14||12/10/17||@ CIN||1:00 pm|
|15||12/16/17||@ DET||4:30 pm|
|17||12/31/17||@ MIN||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|