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Bears Titans Football

Bears wide receiver Tanner Gentry, right, celebrates with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky after they teamed up on a 45-yard touchdown pass play against the Titans in the second half Sunday in Nashville, Tennessee.

It figures, doesn't it?

The Bears finally have two quarterbacks they're excited about and -- POW! — they lose No. 1 receiver Cam Meredith to a season-ending torn ACL.

That's like having a winning lottery ticket and your 5-year-old feeds it to his hamster before you cash in.

"We've got other guys. They're not of (Meredith's) caliber but someone else will step up and we've got a good bunch to do that," coach John Fox told reporters after Sunday's win in Tennessee.

Trouble is, they're all unproven.

Meredith appeared ready for a breakout season, performing well in training camp after leading Bears receivers with 66 receptions for 888 yards and four touchdowns last year.

He was targeted 96 times, however, so do you blame his route running or Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer or Matt Barkley?

Losing Meredith creates an added challenge for Glennon that played out Sunday. After Meredith’s injury, Glennon completed only three of eight attempts for 34 yards, and he failed to connect with an open Deonte Thompson near the goal line on a pass that could’ve resulted in a touchdown just before halftime.

“For a lot of guys, there’s an opportunity for someone in that room to go grab that new open spot. It’s unfortunate, but I think we have a deep group at receiver," Glennon said after the game.

For me, finding the next go-to guy is like choosing between kale and spinach for your salad.

Neither is exciting, nor are returning wide receivers Josh Bellamy (19 catches, 282 yards); Deonte Thompson (22/249) and Kevin White (19/187) — who combined for three touchdowns last season.

Tight end Zach Miller (47/486, 4 TDs) and running back Jordan Howard (29/298, TD) provided some good-hands insurance in their roles.

The Bears need more targets and deeper threats.

They need Kevin White to stay healthy — he's played only four games the last two years — and to finally produce like the first-round pick he is.

"It's my time," White agreed. "I always want to do my job and do it at a high level. As receivers, everybody’s gotta step up when guys go down. We’ll do that, we’ll be all right.”

Glennon and backup Mitch Trubisky have some young targets who lack experience but seem confident enough for Game Day.

Undrafted Tanner Gentry had a wide-open TD pass from Trubisky against the Titans and is averaging 19.3 yards per catch in preseason.

Tight end Adam Shaheen is a second-round pick with Mike Ditka qualities.

Markus Wheaton hasn’t played in a preseason game yet and hasn’t practiced much due to an appendectomy and broken finger. But he averaged 14.1 yards per grab in four seasons with the Steelers.

When the Bears trim their roster from 90 to 53 following Thursday night's final preseason game with Cleveland, MyCole Pruitt, Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz hope to still have a locker at Halas Hall.

It's doubtful they will stick, especially Cruz, who hasn't played a full season since 2012.

Like John Fox is always saying: In the NFL, it's what have you done for me lately?

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com.

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