Fowler played 69 percent of snaps on offense in Sunday's 20-13 loss to Washington, catching four of seven targets for 48 yards. Meanwhile, Russell Shepard played just two snaps on offense in his return from a neck injury. Fowler may stick as the No. 3 receiver after a Week 9 bye, but we can't expect more than three or four targets per game in a subpar offense that's already struggling to create touches for Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard.
Fowler agreed to a contract Tuesday with the Patriots, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. After cutting wideouts Riley McCarron and Chad Hansen on Monday, the Patriots didn't take long to address their dwindling depth at the position, as Fowler and 2016 first-round pick Corey Coleman will both be added to the roster Tuesday. Fowler spent the past three seasons with Denver, tallying 56 receptions for 698 yards and five touchdowns over that span. The 27-year-old latched on with the Bears over the offseason, but failed to impress in training camp and the preseason and was included among the team's final cuts. Fowler and Coleman will both get the opportunity to compete for snaps in New England, but the duo will likely enter the Week 2 matchup with the Jaguars firmly behind Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson on the depth chart at receiver.
The Bears have signed Fowler, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The addition of Fowler bolsters a Chicago receiving corps that recently saw Cameron Meredith head to the Saints as a restricted free agent. The 6-foot-1 212-pound Fowler caught a career-high 29 passes for 350 yards and three TDs for the Broncos last season. He'll now jostle for slotting on the Bears' 2018 wideout depth chart (behind top option Allen Robinson) along with the likes of Taylor Gabriel, Kevin White, Josh Bellamy and Tanner Gentry.
Fowler ended 2017 with 29 receptions on 56 targets for 350 yards and three touchdowns. Fowler enjoyed career highs across the board, but it's fair to wonder what could have been with some better play both by Fowler and the quarterbacks he was catching passes from. He opened the season with a two-touchdown game, but proceeded to have a case of the drops push him down the depth chart. He nabbed a grand total of five catches from Weeks 9 through 16 before a four-catch season finale, a product of Cody Latimer and Emmanuel Sanders being held out. Fowler could be retained on the relative cheap as a restricted free agent in 2018, but with a youth movement likely coming in Denver, it's worth wondering whether the team will cut its losses on a player that once appeared to be a pretty solid No. 3 option.
Fowler and Jordan Taylor are in line to see increased playing time Sunday against Washington, with both Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) and Cody Latimer (thigh) downgraded to out this week, the Denver Post reports. Fowler, who has caught 25 passes for 294 yards and three TDs in 14 games to date, is an option for those scrambling to replace either Sanders or Latimer, but it has yet to be solidified whether he'll be catching passes from Brock Osweiler or Paxton Lynch (ankle) on Sunday.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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