Desperate to upgrade a severely depleted wide receiver corps that has been decimated by injuries since the beginning of the season, the Bears acquired veteran Dontrelle Inman from the Los Angeles Chargers for a conditional seventh-round draft pick, per reports.
No. 1 wideout Cameron Meredith was lost for the season with a knee injury in the preseason, and he was followed shortly thereafter by Kevin White — again. Free agent acquisition Markus Wheaton, who was brought in to stretch the field, has appeared in just three games due to injury. The Bears have had to rely heavily upon slot receiver Kendall Wright and tight end Zach Miller, in addition to rookie scatback Tarik Cohen to help anchor the passing game.
Inman, 28, is in his fourth season out of Virginia. He has appeared in just four games this season, catching two passes for nine yards. He became a victim of the numbers game in Los Angeles, vying for playing time in a crowded receiver corps with Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin and now rookie Mike Williams, the 7th overall pick in April’s draft.
Prior to this season, Inman managed to produce respectable numbers when given playing time due to injuries to the position. In 2016, he started all 16 games and caught 58 passes for 810 yards and four touchdowns — numbers remarkably similar to Meredith (66 receptions for 888 yards and four scores).
It’s important to note this similarity, given that the two receivers have similar body types and Inman will play the role that was intended for Meredith when training camp began.
While Inman should come in and play an important role catching passes, the Bears are also interested in his leadership skills as well as what he can do for the players around him. His presence on the field will help take pressure off the other receivers on the field and create open opportunities for rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky.