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Week 4 News and Notes for Bears at the Next Level

A Bear returns to the Next Level. Plus we check in on Bears playing pro ball in a league far far away.

Now you know how its done.
Now you know how its done.
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Week 4 edition of That’s Some Next Level; your weekly update on Bears in the NFL. Hard to believe that the season is already 1/4 over (for most teams).

Two pieces of good news to lead off this week:

J.D. Walton (SD) – Welcome back to the Next Level!  The Chargers singed UFA Walton on Tuesday.  Recall that Walton was in camp with the Dolphins this preseason, but failed to make the final 53 man roster.  In San Diego, he’s the backup-to-the-backup and didn’t play in Sundays win over the Browns. But still, nice to have another Bear at the Next Level.

Terrance Williams (DAL) – Finally!  Weeden answered the hue and cry and threw some mid to deep balls, including a late, 17 yd, game tying TD to Williams.  It was a beautiful catch.

You know by now that it wasn’t enough to lift the Cowboys over the Saints.  Williams ended the night with 3 catches on 10 targets for 49 yds.  The three catches on 10 targets probably jumps out at you.  To be sure, there were a couple of catchable passes among those other throws.  But the many were short and off target.  The Brandon Weeden Experience has already lasted too long.
Next Game: v. NE(!), Sun 3:25CT

Jon Weeks (HOU) – 8 perfect snaps and a tackle.  New kicker Nick Novak was a perfect 3/3 on XPs, but missed a 53 FG short. No punts blocked. 
Next Game: v. IND, Thur 7:25CT

Bryce Hager (STL) – Hager was again active on special teams for the Rams. Alas, no tackles recorded.  But the big Hager-related news was the injury of Rams OLB Alec Ogletree.  Ogletree injured in his ankle late in the third quarter. The injury will require surgery and he’ll likely miss the rest of the season.  While Daren Bates will likely get the bulk of Ogletree’s snaps, there may be some packages where Hager will get playing time.
Next Game: @GB, Sun 12:00CT

Matt Bryant (ATL) – Still perfect. 6/6 on XP.  Falcons now 4-0.
Next Game:  v. WAS, Sun 12:00CT

In the DNP sub-group

Kendall Wright (TEN) – Enjoyed his bye week. He spent much of it tweeting and retweeting BU football.  Makes me so happy.

Next Game: v BUF, Sun 12:00CT

Bryce Petty (NYJ) – Another quiet week for Petty.  Dressed, but DNP. Hopefully he enjoyed the Jets little 60hr jaunt to London and the 8:30A CT kickoff. (and a sell-out crowd Wembley Stadium, which is unbelievable to me). Jets have a bye in week 5.

Robert Griffin III (WAS) – Griffin was again a healthy scratch vs. the Eagles.  He did make a cameo appearance with 0:42 left, walking onto the field with the training staff to attend to injured receiver Jordan Reid.

Demetri Goodson – Goodson was inactive on Sunday v. the 49ers.  He is reportedly nursing a hamstring injury.

This week’s By the Way Item of the Week

With the bye weeks upon us and so little NFL news for our Bears, I thought it might be fun to check in on Bears in playing in the CFL. Beauty, eh?

First, a quick primer on the CFL teams/rosters.  There are 9 teams in the league, split between east and west divisions. Active rosters are limited to 44 players, no more than 20 of which can be international.  (They’re pretty committed to keeping it local – they designate 24 starters each week, at least 7 of which must be national). So there are a possible 180 spots for American players.

Right now, there are 5 former Bears playing in Great White North.

PLAYER POS TEAM Yrs at Baylor Entered CFL Yrs In CFL Notes
Brandon Whitaker RB Toronto Argonauts 2003-2006 2009 7 (see below)
Josh Bell DB Calgary Stampeders 2003-2006 2012 4 Joined CFL after stints with Chargers, Broncos and Packers
Antareis Bryan DB Saskatchewan Roughriders
(practice squad)
2006-2010 2013 3
Philip Blake OL Montreal Alouettes 2009-2011 2015 1 Actually a Canadian citizen.  Joined the CFL after stints with Denver and Arizona
Tracy Robertson DL Toronto Argonauts 2008-2011 2015 1 Joined the CFL after stints with Teans, Lions, Patriots, Dolphins, and Bears.

Whitaker is the most notable. He actually led the CFL in rushing in 2011 and continues to be among the leaders in 2015.  He’s a two time Grey Cup champion and CFL all-star.  His time at Baylor coincides with the Guy Morriss years (pity him).  His best year was 2007, when he had 488 yds on 102 carries and 2 TDs, along with 58 catches for 425 yds and 3 TDs. Here’s a recent-ish item on 2015 expectations for him in Toronto.

Canada – it used to be for draft dodgers. Now it’s for when the (NFL) draft dodges you!

That’s it for this week.  Until next week, good luck to Baylor Bears at Next Levels everywhere.  And that includes you!