| Wide Receiver, Chicago Bears
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|Draft: 2008 Round 2 (11)
College: Virginia Tech
Ht: 5’10” Wt: 185 DOB: 1986-05-21 Age: 29
|If there was ever a player whose fortunes were solely tied to that of a head coach and his system, Eddie Royal is that player. Royal was a revelation as a rookie in 2009 playing in Mike Shanahan’s offense, notching 91 receptions for 980 yards and five touchdowns. Shanahan was fired following that year and Royal’s production fell off a cliff. The former second round pick caught 115 passes for 1,127 yards and four touchdowns over the following three seasons and is coming off a 19-reception, 155-yard, one-touchdown campaign. Finally free of his rookie contract, Royal had a chance to rejoin Shanahan in Washington where he would have been the team’s top slot receiver but instead chose to join in San Diego where he will compete with 2011 3rd round pick Vincent Brown. Since coaches generally like their slot receivers to catch more than 38.8% of their targets (Royal’s receptions to targets ratio last season), look for Brown to win that battle. I said it last year and I’ll say it again this year. Don’t go thinking Royal is ready to recreate his rookie magic because it ain’t gonna happen.
| Alshon Jeffrey "day-to-day" with calf strain -- Tue Aug 25 9:30 am --|
Bears WR status unclear for Saturday preseason game
|Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery has been dealing with a strained calf muscle for two weeks. On Monday, head coach John Fox was unable to provide a meaningful update on the fourth-year pass-catcher's injury status, adding that Jeffery is still listed as "day to day," according to reporters. (Fox Sports)|
FF Today's Take: The Bears receiving corps is in rough shape. With both Jeffery and Kevin White out of the lineup, the Bears have experimented with their remaining depth at the wide receiver position, and former seventh-round selection Marquess Wilson is getting an extended look. But even Wilson missed practice on Monday with a hamstring injury. Right now, journeyman WR Eddie Royal is the only trustworthy receiver who's healthy, and could make an interesting early-season play in DFS and season-long leagues.
|Eddie Royal to play outside more than expected -- Mon Aug 17 4:20 pm --|
Expected to start and move into the slot in three-wide packages
|Eddie Royal was likely to be a starter regardless of Kevin White's health. The Bears like him as a slot receiver because of his suddenness and ability to gain yards after the catch. Without White, though, he could play more outside. Royal came into the league with the Broncos in 2008 playing outside and has done so throughout his career.
"I've been trying to learn the whole system just so if anything happens that I'll be able to step in and play wherever," he said after Sunday's practice. "We've got a number of guys that are doing that." (Chicago Tribune)|
FF Today's Take: Royal's ADP has risen into the 11th round after it was in the 14th round a week ago, but owners should still feel like they are getting a bargain with him at that point of the draft. Chicago will almost certainly rely heavily on Royal in the short passing game given his after-the-catch abilities and desire to reduce Jay Cutler's interception total. Royal has also proven to be a very good red-zone receiver as well, making him a strong candidate to maintain WR3 value in all leagues.
| Bears' rookie wideout out with stress fracture -- Sat Aug 15 1:00 pm --|
Kevin White to miss at least six games
|As it turns out, Chicago Bears rookie Kevin White won’t be ready for the regular season as the team had previously hoped. In fact, White may not see the field in 2015 whatsoever. White has a stress fracture in his left shin and that a setback in White’s recuperation from that injury will now force the receiver into surgery. Whether White will rehabilitate from that surgery fast enough to play late in 2015 remains to be seen.
FF Today's Take: That thud you hear is the sound of White's fantasy value in redraft leagues. White will be placed on the PUP list once the season begins, meaning he will miss at least the first six games of the season. Alshon Jeffery (calf), Eddie Royal and TE Martellus Bennett will be the top three receiving options for Jay Cutler. WR Marquess Wilson will also be in the mix for targets.
| Jeffery misses pre-season opener with calf injury -- Thu Aug 13 11:00 pm --|
Bears' WR wearing a walking boot and using crutches
|Receiver Alshon Jeffery did not play in Thursday night's exhibition opener because he strained a calf muscle at practice in Bourbonnais earlier in the week. Coach John Fox said Jeffery is day to day, but he did not know when Jeffery will return to practice. Jeffery is wearing a walking boot and using crutches.
FF Today's Take: Not sure why a walking boot is needed for a calf muscle injury, but then again I'm not a doctor. John Fox likes to give as little information as possible when it comes to injuries and that could be the case here. Let's hope its just a strain and not something more serious. Eddie Royal and Marquess Wilson got the start in Jeffery's absence.
|Royal, Cutler working to rekindle chemistry -- Mon Jun 22 6:00 pm --|
Pair worked together in Denver in 2008
|The Bears got rid of a frequent Jay Cutler target this offseason when they traded WR Brandon Marshall to the Jets, but Cutler hasn’t been left without any ties to his days in Denver. Eddie Royal signed with the team as a free agent, which reunites him with the man who was the quarterback during his rookie year with the Broncos in 2008. Royal got off to a fast start in his first year, catching 91 passes for 980 yards and five touchdowns. It was the only year that the two men worked together, but both remember it fondly and Royal says they’re putting in the same work now that they did then to build the same chemistry. (Pro Football Talk)|
FF Today's Take: As PFT states, Royal isn't going to match his rookie-year production with Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett, Matt Forte and first-rounder Kevin White also on hand. However, one has to believe new HC John Fox and OC Adam Gase will be emphasizing more high-percentage throws from Cutler. To that end, NFL Media's Albert Breer tweeted the Bears "have big plans" for Royal.
|Royal impressing Bears with grasp of the offense -- Mon Jun 15 4:40 pm --|
Ex-Charger, Bronco has 10 red-zone TDs over last two seasons
|Eddie Royal's resurgence over the past two seasons and his early grasp of the Bears' new offense has him in great position to play a prominent role right away. The staff seemed excited about him when (ESPN's Mike Sando) visited Bears camp earlier in the offseason. Royal has 10 red zone touchdowns over the past two seasons, tied for ninth in the league among wide receivers. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: New OC Adam Gase was the Broncos' WR coach during the second and third year of Royal's four-year stay in Denver, so his quick assimilation of the playbook should not be a surprise. Royal doesn't figure to be more than a slot receiver in Chicago, but rookie Kevin White is raw and may have some growing pains before realizing his potential. Royal was quite proficient as a red-zone receiver and has worked with Jay Cutler before, so another high-score season (eight in 2013, seven in 2014) cannot be ruled out.
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