The Bears had some big plans for tight end Zach Miller, and Martellus Bennett was genuinely excited about them.
“We’ve been working together on a lot of different things,” Bennett said. “We had some special packages with both of us out there. So it’s unfortunate he has to face another injury.”
The Bears put Miller on injured reserve Friday, a day after he hurt his left foot in the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Quarterback Jordan Palmer said it was another “bad-luck injury” for Miller, who’s a close friend. Miller’s career has been derailed by injuries. It’s his third time on injured reserve since 2011. “It’s heartbreaking,” Palmer said.
Miller burst onto the scene last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, making six catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns and impressing with his athleticism. He then turned in even better performances during practices at Olivet Nazarene University.
With wide receiver Marquess Wilson already out with a broken collarbone, Miller emerged as a surprise — and much-needed — threat for quarterback Jay Cutler. Offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said last week that Miller was a good weapon for the offense.
“He had an excellent camp,” coach Marc Trestman said. “Things transitioned from the practice field to the games over the last couple of weeks. That was clear. And we were certainly excited about what we saw.”
The Bears’ depth at tight end becomes a question mark again. Behind Bennett, the Bears still have Dante Rosario, Matthew Mulligan and Jeron Mastrud.
With Miller out, Mulligan had four catches for 39 yards against the Jaguars.
“We’ve seen [Mulligan’s] speed in practice,” Trestman said. “We’ve seen his ability to run vertically up the field and make plays, which showed up Thursday night and in practice. He has shown good hands and good speed, besides his ability to block at his point of attack, so we’re excited about it. He’s got great experience.”