Rookies Javon Wims, Kylie Fitts stepping up for Bears
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — If training camp and the preseason opener have indicated anything positive to the Chicago Bears, it’s young talent at key positions could be deeper than anticipated.
Rookie outside linebacker Kylie Fitts and several other Bears outside pass rushers have stepped up at a need area, while seventh-round draft pick Javon Wims is giving an indication competition for jobs at wide receiver will be fierce.
“I think for all of us outside ‘backers it’s a young group, so we all have a lot to show out,” Fitts said.
Fitts made a sack and four tackles Thursday night in the Bears’ 17-16 Hall of Fame Game loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
It’s not the first time this summer the Bears’ sixth-round draft pick from Utah has been harassing quarterbacks. In training camp, he’s almost been too effective as he made contact or got too close to Mitchell Trubiski, Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray.
“We had to get on him the last couple weeks and even in OTAs on staying away from the quarterback,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said.
With the start of preseason games, Fitts can finally finish off sacks.
“He plays extremely hard,” Nagy said. “I have to sometimes remind him to make sure to stay away from the quarterback and the throwing motion and he actually came up to me and apologized to me for it. But you can’t fault a kid for trying to play hard trying to get to the quarterback. So I told him ‘when we get to the preseason, do it as much as you want.’ “
The Bears needed someone to complement outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, and signed former 49ers defensive end Aaron Lynch. Lynch hasn’t practiced due to a hamstring injury, and Nagy said he’ll likely miss another preseason game.
They also have veteran Sam Acho, who has been a reserve for three seasons in Chicago.