Anthony Miller is a brash rookie who doesn’t need a confidence-booster. His first NFL touchdown catch merely raised the bar a little bit.
“Scoring that touchdown, it just raised my expectations for myself,” said Miller, the 51st overall pick.
“I just feel like I can contribute to this team in a big way. And I think that’s what you’re going to see as this season goes on.”
Miller, who caught 18 touchdown passes at Memphis last year, has modest overall production in the Bears’ first two games — four receptions for 25 yards. His 10-yard touchdown catch from Mitch Trubisky gave the Bears a 17-3 lead early in the fourth quarter Monday night against the Seahawks. It was a fitting introduction for a receiver who loves the big stage.
Miller has the ball he caught for the touchdown as a memento. And there was no question where it was going.
“They’re painting it up right now, making it look real nice,” Miller said. “So I’m gonna give it to my momma.”
Now, it’s on to the next one.
“It meant a lot. It’s a moment I’ll never forget,” Miller said. “But that’s a moment that I’ve got to forget right now because [there are] more plays to make, more touchdowns to get.”
Coach Matt Nagy was knocking on wood with another light injury report heading into the game Sunday against the Cardinals.
Reserve cornerback Marcus Cooper (hamstring) and reserve safety DeAndre Houston-Carson (arm) are out. Cooper suffered his injury late in practice Thursday, Nagy said.
Houston-Carson practiced on a limited basis this week and is close to returning from a broken arm.
Guard Kyle Long did not practice Friday for maintenance and is expected to start.
Rookie to watch
With Cooper out, rookie cornerback Kevin Toliver moves up a step behind starters Prince Amukamara and Kyle Fuller and backup Sherrick McManis.
The 6-2, 192-pound Toliver, who went undrafted out of LSU, flashed briefly in offseason work and minicamp but was injured through much of training camp and didn’t make a big impact.
“He’s a young kid that’s very talented,” Nagy said, “and I think he’s starting each day to learn more and more about the system. He has nice size, he’s confident and he comes from a big program.”
The Bears are 5½-point favorites on the road against the 0-2 Cardinals. The last time they were favored on the road — by 2½ points against the Bucs — they lost 36-10.
“It’s way too early to worry about somebody’s record and how they’re playing,” Nagy said. “We can’t do that, and if we do, we’re in trouble.”