Chicago Bears wide receiver N’Keal Harry doesn’t have an injury designation entering Thursday night’s Week 6 game against the Washington Commanders. And while Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy suggested this week that Harry still has some work to do before becoming a regular contributor, there’s a chance he could make an impact for Chicago’s offense against the Commanders’ secondary.
Washington’s defensive backs have allowed 11 touchdown passes in 2022, a number that’s second-most in the NFL through five games. The focus will be on Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet taking advantage of that subpar unit, but Harry’s big body and physical play style could become a factor, assuming the Bears give him reps.
“Those big guys are open,” coach Matt Eberflus said when discussing Harry on Wednesday. “You can throw a deep pass to him, they’re open, and they go get it, go up and climb and go get the ball. Any time we can add another guy like that to the mix, it’s going to create competition, and it’s going to create more athletic ability on the football field for our offense.”
The Bears traded for Harry before training camp in an effort to reboot the former 2019 first-round pick’s career. He totaled just 57 catches for 598 yards and four touchdowns in three seasons with the New England Patriots but is fired up about his opportunity in Chicago.
“It’s been hard just sitting here watching, especially once I started going to the games and standing on the sidelines,” Harry said this week of his time recovering from ankle surgery. “It just brings you so much closer to the actual game. So I’m excited. I’m ecstatic.”
According to Getsy, Harry’s been locked in during meetings. But as the 6’4, 225-pound pass-catcher noted, it’s time to get back on the grass.
“There’s no substitute for actual reps,” Harry said.
Perhaps Thursday night’s game comes and goes, and Harry doesn’t play. But there’s no doubt he’ll be on the field in Week 7 against the New England Patriots. Revenge, perhaps?
“I don’t want to show them anything in particular,” Harry said of the Patriots. “Really, myself, everybody that believes in me, my family, my friends. I just want to be able to play the way I know I can play and the way I can play.”