Chicago Bears Player News: All Positions

News: Gabriel has improved his connection with Mitchell Trubisky this offseason, Alyssa Barbiere of USA Today reports.
Impact: Not only was Gabriel learning a new offense last year, but he also was working with Trubisky for the first time. The development didn't stop Gabriel from posting a career-high 67 receptions and 688 yards, though he topped 33 yards just once over the last five games of the season. While he's displayed improved chemistry with his quarterback, he may struggle to see much of an increase on the 93 targets he saw in 2018, especially with Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller (shoulder), Tarik Cohen, Trey Burton (sports hernia) and others vying for targets. Overall, Gabriel could have a few big weeks, mostly due to his explosive speed, but it won't be surprising if he has others in which he's held in check, making him a better draft pick in best-ball leagues.
News: Shaheen has focused on maintaining his health this offseason, Hub Arkush of the Daily Herald reports.
Impact: After missing three games as a rookie, Shaheen sat out 10 additional contests last year due to an ankle injury. While he's enjoying a healthy offseason, he'll try to maintain his standing as the Bears' second-string tight end. A strong preseason could help him earn playing time as a receiving option, especially if starter Trey Burton's recovery from sports hernia surgery lingers. For now, though, it's unlikely that Shaheen will be much of a fantasy factor to start the season.
News: Shaheen lost seven pounds during the offseason, focusing on flexibility and core strength in an effort to avoid future injuries, Adam Jahns of The Athletic reports.
Impact: The 2017 second-round pick has missed 13 games through two NFL seasons, dealing with foot, ankle, chest and head injuries. Shaheen played the final five weeks of last season and then replaced Trey Burton (sports hernia) as Chicago's top tight end for a playoff loss to Philadelphia, but the 24-year-old acknowledges that he wasn't in the best shape at the time, still working his way back to full strength after he spent the first 10 weeks of the campaign on injured reserve. Shaheen had a nice opportunity for regular first-team snaps with Burton recovering from surgery during the offseason program, but the Bears expect their starter to be healthy before the end of training camp, likely relegating Shaheen to a role that primarily focuses on blocking.
News: Bears wide receivers coach Mike Furrey said Gabriel has shown "huge growth" since last offseason, Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Furrey suggests Gabriel needed some time to buy into the importance of detail in coach Matt Nagy's offense, with the wide receiver initially believing he could get by on speed alone. Gabriel enjoyed back-to-back 100-yard games early last season, but he then averaged just 3.6 catches for 35 yards in his final 11 contests, failing to score a touchdown after Week 6. While a second year in the same offense may help his efficiency, Gabriel faces a challenge to match his 2018 volume (93 targets) with second-year wide receiver Anthony Miller (shoulder) potentially taking on more work. The Bears also need to feed Allen Robinson, Tarik Cohen and Trey Burton (sports hernia), while Mike Davis, David Montgomery, Cordarrelle Patterson and Adam Shaheen also are in the mix to see passes. Gabriel's 2018 mark of 7.4 yards per target doesn't give him the best argument to be a priority, though Robinson (8.0), Miller (7.8) and Burton (7.5) didn't fare much better.
News: Robinson was healthy throughout the offseason program, JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago reports.
Impact: Robinson's first offseason in Chicago was devoted to rehabbing from the ACL tear he suffered in Week 1 of 2017. As is often the case in a player's first year back from major surgery, he struggled with both health and consistency in 2018, missing three games with injuries (groin, rib) and falling shy of 50 yards in five others. He finally looked like the best version of himself by the end of the campaign, posting a 6-85-1 receiving line in his last regular-season game and a 10-143-1 line in a playoff loss to Philadelphia. Now benefiting from a normal offseason and a second year in the same scheme, Robinson is well positioned to take a step forward in his age-26 campaign, though he's unlikely to return to his peak volume from 2015-16 in Jacksonville (153 and 151 targets). The Bears have a solid group of secondary pass-catching options, and their excellent defense should lead to some weeks where they don't need much volume from Mitchell Trubisky.
News: Trubisky feels much more confident in his second season under coach Matt Nagy, John Kampf of The News-Herald reports.
Impact: The core of the Chicago offense looks quite similar to last season, only with Mike Davis and David Montgomery replacing Jordan Howard in the backfield while Cordarrelle Patterson potentially adds a new wrinkle to both the passing game and rushing attack. The offseason moves show an emphasis on versatility, with the Bears presumably hoping to use their running backs as receiving threats and their wide receivers as occasional ballcarriers. Trubisky's individual growth will be the most important factor, but there's additional potential for major development with Anthony Miller, who was limited by shoulder injuries throughout this rookie season. It also can't hurt to have Allen Robinson further removed from the ACL tear that wiped out his 2017 campaign in Jacksonville, and Trey Burton (sports hernia) could be a bit better in his second season as a starter.