A day after the Chicago Bears cut down their roster to the league-required 53, they assembled their practice squad for the 2013 season. Out of the seven members, five were with the team prior to Saturday’s cuts.
The list includes: Linebacker Jerry Franklin, cornerback Demontre Hurst, tight end Fendi Onobun, running back Harvey Unga, defensive end Aston Whiteside, quarterback Jerrod Johnson and receiver Ricardo Lockette. Johnson and Lockette were the two players claimed who were not with Chicago prior to Saturday’s deadline.
Out of those seven guys, there is one in particular that the Bears were simply reluctant to let go of: Onobun.
Both the coaches and fans loved watching this guy in training camp. He possesses the frame and athletic ability of a legitimate tight end. At 6’6” weighing 260 pounds, Onobun is a big target. Not only that, but he ran a 4.48 40-yard dash at the combine before being drafted in 2010 by the St. Louis Rams.
Onobun’s athletic ability cannot be understated. Before his fifth year of college played at the University of Houston, he played four years of basketball at Arizona. He was selected by the Rams in the sixth round three years ago and has only two career catches for 15 yards.
With reserves like Steve Maneri and Kyle Adams behind starter Martellus Bennett, Onobun may get a shot to play at some point this season if either of them fail to meet expectations or are injured. The Bears want to see was Onobun can do after excelling in camp but failing to impress in the preseason.
Targeted three times in the first three games and dropping every one of them, Onobun bounced back in the final preseason matchup and caught four passes for 45 yards. He continued to display great speed, agility and the ability to cover a lot of ground around him when going for the ball. Chicago may have snuck in a very solid future contributor onto its practice squad Sunday, and I’m excited to see what he can do.