It’s well documented amongst Chicago Bears fans that the Tight End position has been a thorn in the offense side this year. For the year, the TE’s have compiled 18 receptions for 189 yards and two touchdowns. In comparison, Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen has 43 receptions for 497 yards and three touchdowns.
Bears starting TE Kellen Davis has 11 receptions for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten bested Davis year long numbers in one game with 18 receptions for 167 yards against the New York Giants weeks back.
That’s how sorry the position has been this season, and Davis bad performance in primetime seems to be a final straw according to Chicago Tribune’s Vaughn McClure.
Whether Davis rebounds or not, the Bears are expected to give rookie fullback Evan Rodriguez reps at tight end this week as they search for consistency at the position. Rodriguez opened eyes in training camp with his receiving ability and had three catches for 49 yards in exhibition play. He missed two regular-season games with a sprained MCL and hasn’t caught a pass.
So what do the Bears have in H-Back Evan Rodriguez as a receiver? At Temple, Rodriguez caught 69 passes for 871 yards and seven touchdowns in 37 career games. He’s small for the TE position, but has the build at 239 pounds so he’s not a complete liability against Linebackers and safeties. Rodriguez has the speed and athleticism to hurt LB’s over the middle of the field.
While Rodriguez is not your typical TE, offensive coordinator Mike Tice can send him out on routes from the line of scrimmage or from the backfield. The Bears hope to get some consistency at the position and it seems Rodriguez will be the guy they turn to moving forward.