Jay Cutler is entering a critical season for his future with the Chicago Bears. The quarterback fell under trade talk during the offseason and that could easily happen again if he fails to improve and get the Bears back into contention. The team did all they could to add talent around the quarterback despite trading leading receiver Brandon Marshall to the New York Jets. The issue is that most of that talent is now sitting injured heading into the regular season.
The Bears continue to deal with injuries at the wide receiver position which could dramatically stall the offense. After trading Marshall, the Bears drafted Kevin White who was considered one of the top two receiver rookies available. White promptly injured his shin and underwent surgery to fix the issue leaving his season in serious doubt. That is paired with the calf injury to Alshon Jeffery and now Marquess Wilson is sitting due to a hamstring problem. All of this has put Eddie Royal at the center of the offense.
"I think it definitely grows every day, just being out here whether we have a good day or a bad day," Royal said, via the Chicago Tribune. "Sometimes, you learn more from mistakes. You get out here and you make a couple mistakes and it's, 'I saw it this way,' or 'I was thinking you would see that.' It's just good to get out there and talk, have a couple mistakes out here on the grass where it doesn't count so on Sundays, we're sharp."
Wilson and Jeffery are expected to be back by the start of the season, but it is Royal who could be the star of the show. Fantasy owners would be wise to grab the receiver early considering he has the most chemistry built up with Cutler heading into the season. The injuries are certainly testing the depth built up as players like Rashad Lawrence and Joshua Bellamy step up.
Martellus Bennett will also be a critical factor to the roster and the tight end knows it. Bennett is coming off a strong 2014 season and is doing everything he can to capitalize on that effort. Part of that is stepping up as a leader, something Bennett is not sure Cutler is capable of. Bennett stirred the pot in recent comments saying that sometimes and likes Cutler and sometimes he does not.
"Why does everyone always assume the quarterback is the leader?" Bennett said, via ChicagoMag.com. "Leading the offense and leading the team are two different things. Sometimes I like Cutty, and sometimes I don't. When I think of a leader, I think, 'If he started a company, would guys come to work for him?' There's a lot of guys on our team who, if they started a business, it'd be, 'F--- you, I'm gonna go work at McDonald's.' "