Eddie Royal wouldn’t admit it Tuesday, especially because his team lost, but he had his best game as a Bears player Sunday.
His 57 receiving yards — on four catches — topped his best game last season, which was limited to nine contests because of injury. His touchdown, a 19-yard laser down the left seam from jay Cutler, matched last year’s total. His 31-yard punt return was longer than all but one the Bears returned in 2015.
Not bad for someone who missed all four preseason games with a concussion.
“(I) always believe in myself and I think everyone playing the game should,” he said. “You always expect to come out and have a great day. That’s got to be your mind-set no matter what — expect to be great. And hopefully you go out there and you are.”
His performance was critical, given Kevin White’s struggles in his first NFL game, including a mistake on a pass route that turned into a Jay Cutler interception. Royal could prove to be the more worthy running mate for Alshon Jeffery — at least early in the season.
“We’re better with him healthy,” Fox said of Royal. “Now it’s just keeping him healthy.
“It didn’t really surprise me. I’ve seen him play before, Jay’s seen him play and played with him before. We were pretty much expecting that.”
They also expect him to help White through a tough period.
“Anytime you have a veteran out there, even in practice, just the finer details — the finer points of route-running, escaping press, all the tools of the trade — a veteran guy, they’re good coaches as well,” Fox said. “All that’s invaluable for Kevin at this stage.”