Taquan Mizzell found out about his new team at 1 p.m. Sunday and was on a plane to Chicago by 5.
The former Ravens running back was in shock. The Bears weren’t particularly interested in the Virginia rookie during the pre-draft process, he said, and hadn’t really checked in with his agent before making him one of the three players they claimed off waivers.
“I had a pretty good preseason,” Mizzell said Monday, “and I guess they liked what they saw on tape.”
The 5-10, 185-pounder led the Ravens with 126 rushing yards on 40 carries and 90 receiving yards on 12 catches.
“There’s a lot of backs around the league that can run for a lot of yards,” Mizzell said. “I’m not the biggest guy, but pass-catching is the way I want to separate myself from some other guys. I’ve got to have some versatility to my game.”
Tre McBride didn’t plan to end up with the Bears, either. The former Titans receiver thought he would wind up with the Jets.
The Bears have been desperate for help at receiver since Cam Meredith tore his ACL, but McBride won’t be able to make an impact until he learns the playbook. The Titans’ verbiage was different.
“I feel like there are some things in football that are universal,” McBride said.
The Bears had success with waiver claims last year. Cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc and guard Eric Kush lasted all year with the team.
Coach John Fox’s declaration that the Bears are a “run-oriented team” was good news for Jordan Howard, who finished second in the NFL with 1,313 rushing yards last season.
“Any time we run the ball, I’m very excited about that,” Howard said. “We’ll use the run to set up the pass, so we’re going to work hand-in-hand.”
Howard said he was ready to be a bell-cow, but said his backfield-mates provided versatility.
“They do a lot of stuff I can’t do, especially [rookie] Tarik [Cohen],” he said. “There’s a lot of stuff — I don’t think there’s anything he can’t do.”
This and that
The Bears placed defensive back Deiondre’ Hall on injured reserve with a hamstring injury and re-signed defensive lineman John Jenkins, who they cut Saturday. Because Hall was placed on IR after being on the 53-man roster, he’s eligible to return midway through the season.
• Fox said the team hasn’t decided if rookie fifth-round guard Jordan Morgan, who was placed on IR because of a shoulder issue, will have surgery.
• Cutting defensive end Jaye Howard, who was recovering from hip surgery, was “performance-based,” Fox said.
• The Bears added tight end Ben Braunecker, whom they cut Sunday, to the practice squad. Safety Chris Prosinski was cut with an injury settlement.
• Running back Jeremy Langford was signed to the Ravens’ practice squad.
• Cornerback Marcus Cooper changed his number to No. 31. Running back Benny Cunningham will wear No. 30.
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