As if Martellus Bennett‘s days in Chicago weren’t numbered already, the Bears placed their starting tight end on season-ending injured reserve because of his lingering rib injury, according to WGN-TV.
Bennett has not met expectations this season and has been somewhat vocal about the lack of contract talks with the Bears this season. While Bennett played against the San Francisco 49ers this past Sunday, he only caught three passes for 14 yards, and the rumor mill will likely be working overtime now that the team has placed him on IR.
The Bears will have a decision to make about Bennett in the offseason because he will be a free agent at the end of the season. He has never caught more than six touchdowns in one season and he has one caught three touchdowns in 2015. His 53 receptions are a team high but he only has 439 receiving yards and an average of 8.3 yards per reception, which is the second lowest of his career.
Bennett is a talented six-foot-six-inch tight end, but his career has been somewhat underwhelming during the first eight seasons. A rib injury occurring in the last couple of weeks is forcing him to be placed on season-ending IR and it will not help his case to get more money this offseason as a free agent. The Bears will have a couple of options at tight end after this season, in large part because of the play of backup tight end Zach Miller. And Miller has tallied a career high in receiving yards (228) and touchdowns (4). He would also be a cheaper option than Bennett, but a majority of that decision will be decided over the last four games of the season.
If Bennett has any chance of staying in Chicago, he had better use this time to repair his relationships with the Bears’ staff and do everything he can to be 100 percent going into the offseason.