December 06, 2021


Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan feeds off the doubters

Bears waive WR Javon Wims; team honors military at practice

LAKE FOREST – Free-agent linebacker Alec Ogletree arrived at Halas Hall a few weeks ago and seemed to find the football again and again. The 29-year-old, eighth-year veteran had a handful of interceptions in his first few practices with the Bears.

The takeaways have since died down for Ogletree. But that, plus a minor knee injury that Danny Trevathan was dealing with, was enough to make some wonder whether Ogletree could take snaps away from Trevathan once the regular season arrives.

Trevathan, 31, believes he still has what it takes to be a productive inside linebacker in the NFL.

“I feel great,” Trevathan said Thursday. “It’s fun knowing the game and being around guys and helping guys get better and still being able to play at a high level. I like when people don’t think that I can do something. It motivates me more.”

Trevathan had plenty of doubters in 2020. But make no mistake, he played well the second half of the season. The Bears are hopeful that they and Trevathan learned from the missteps that led to Trevathan being put in some tough positions last season.

He isn’t shying away from the competition, either. Although Ogletree started off hot at training camp, Bears fans need to remember, too, that this is a linebacker who was cut by the 2-14 Jets last season. He still could be a solid, experienced backup. That was something the Bears sorely lacked at inside linebacker last season.

“I mean, it’s always great to have guys that can play linebacker with me,” Trevathan said. “I’m never knocking nobody. I’m never trying not to help somebody. So if I can help as a linebacker, as an older player, I’m going to help.”

The Bears are giving Ogletree a long look in the preseason. His apparent willingness to contribute on special teams could make him a valuable backup this season.

Roster update: The Bears waived receiver Javon Wims and signed defensive back Dionte Ruffin. They have to cut down to 53 players Tuesday.

Wims was a seventh-round draft pick out of Georgia in 2018. He caught 28 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns over three seasons with the Bears. He was ejected from a game last season for throwing a punch at New Orleans Saints cornerback C.J. Gardner-Johnson.

Waiving Wims could leave room on the 53-man roster for another receiver between Riley Ridley, Chris Lacy and Rodney Adams. Adams has been a standout during the preseason games and has impressed with his perseverance to come back after retiring a few years ago.

“You know about his story and even up to recently how he’s handled himself with having the baby, not having much sleep, but yet sacrificing time to practice and play,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said. “And I respect that about him. He’s somebody that works hard.”

The Bears had no new injury updates Thursday. Defensive back Teez Tabor (hamstring), defensive back Xavier Crawford (groin), defensive lineman Sam Kamara (ankle), tight end J.P. Holtz (quad) outside linebacker James Vaughters (calf) and defensive tackle Bilal Nichols (toe) sat out practice again. Cornerback Desmond Trufant remains out because of a personal matter.

Practice report: Thursday was the final day of practice at training camp. The Bears will travel to Nashville to face the Tennessee Titans on Saturday in the last preseason game of 2021.

The Bears hosted about 1,000 guests from Chicago area military and first responder organizations.

“I believe that we all need to take some time and look around and thank those who have sacrificed for us,” said tight end Jimmy Graham, who was born on a military base. “So I continue to always look to do that because I’m very grateful for the life I’ve been given.”

Practices from here on out will be closed. With only three preseason games this season, every team has an extra week between the final preseason game and Week 1. Nagy said next week’s practices will be light, with an eye toward keeping everyone healthy for Week 1.

Even though quarterback Justin Fields is starting Saturday’s preseason game, Andy Dalton continued to take all the reps with the first-team offense. The first team was playing full speed, but second and third teams were practicing at half speed Thursday.

The highlight of practice Thursday might’ve been a deep ball Dalton threw to receiver Marquise Goodwin toward the end of practice. Goodwin turned on the jets and flew past safety Eddie Jackson to catch the ball in stride for a touchdown. Earlier in practice, Dalton connected with receiver Damiere Byrd for a deep ball touchdown from about midfield. Byrd beat safety Tashaun Gipson on the play.

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for Shaw Media. He also contributes to high school football coverage at Friday Night Drive. Sean has covered various sports at the amateur, college and professional levels since 2012. He joined Shaw Media in 2016.