By Paul M. Banks
The Chicago Bears entered the season desperate for a #1 wide receiver to emerge. In week three, Brandon Lloyd appeared to be that guy with 124 yards and a touchdown: (The sole 100 yard effort by a Bears wide-out this season. Unfortunately, Lloyd strained his posterior cruciate ligament in week four and we didnâ€™t see him again until Sunday when he had two catches for 17 yards. He was expected to be out just 2-4 weeks, but missed a month and a half instead. It has been insinuated that the Bears coaching staff was extremely fed up with Lloydâ€™s slow convalescence. Although nothingâ€™s on the record, his Bear teammates allegedly donâ€™t have high regard for his attitude and supposed lack of toughness.
Lloydâ€™s budding R&B singing careerâ€“â€œShe All Mine,â€ his collaboration with Bobby Valentino, is a current top 50 hip-hop chart single- and comments about not wanting to take the field until heâ€™s absolutely 100% gave ammunition to critics and resurfaced the negative reputation he received while playing for Washington.Â This late in the season, almost no NFL player is truly 100% healthy. Given how much money players make each game, it seems ridiculous that Lloyd would say and actually mean such a thing. Could there be another reason for his slow return? Would that reason due to an injury or off-the-field matter?
One thingâ€™s for sure, he wasnâ€™t held back due to the Bears having a stellar wide receiving corps. Since heâ€™s been gone, only one Bear: Rashied Davis has resembled a bonafide NFL starting wide-out. One of the first features I ever wrote was a Daily Illini piece about Brandon Lloyd in 1999 as he was poised to break the University of Illinois record for receiving yards by a freshman. (his record was broken by Arrelious Benn last year). Since then Iâ€™ve followed his career arc quite closely. Lloydâ€™s now thought to be on his last chance. When his former college Head Coach and current Bears Offensive coordinator Ron Turner played the cronyism card and brought him into camp, conventional league wisdom had already given up on him. Under those circumstances, you would expect Lloyd to approach his job with something extra to prove, and not display a relaxed effort towards returning to work! So something here doesnâ€™t add up. Either thereâ€™s another hidden factor here or someone (either Lloyd or the coaching staff) sold the Bears passing game and the teamâ€™s chances short.Follow paulmbanks