Your fantasy points mean little to Bears tight end Zach Miller. His big day against Cowboys – eight catches for 78 yards and two touchdowns – was all for naught.
“You’d rather score touchdowns and win,” Miller said Thursday at Halas Hall.
Miller will have a chance to play a big role in one possibly Sunday at Soldier Field. The Lions have allowed a league-high five touchdowns to tight ends in three games this season.
The Colts’ Dwayne Allen and Jack Doyle combined for seven catches, 88 yards and three scores in the season opener. In Week 2, Delanie Walker made six receptions for 83 yard and a touchdown. Last week, the Packers’ tight ends totaled 37 yards and a touchdown on four catches.
So is this a good week to start Miller?
“I don’t get involved in that fantasy stuff,” Miller said, laughing. “You guys put too much pressure on me with that.”
Either way, Miller’s performance against the Cowboys was a good sign for a player who didn’t produce much in the first two weeks after sitting out in the preseason because of a concussion.
The Bears need Miller to produce more in their offense with opponents rolling coverage to help with receiver Alshon Jeffery. After all, Miller is the Bears’ No. 1 tight end.
“It was gutsy [performance] because he was banged up,” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. “[He] played through a lot. I was really impressed with him and really proud of the way he stepped up. He has such a good feel in zone. He’s such a smart player. He did a really good job for us.”
Loggains’ comments raised some eyebrows because Miller has struggled with injuries throughout his career. But Miller is not on the injury report. He said he just endured “a couple shots” in the loss to the Cowboys while the Bears’ played catch-up.
“That’s part of going across the middle and trying to make those play,” Miller said. “I’m good. It’s just one of those things where you had a couple shots in succession and that was it.”
The injury report
The Bears’ injury report remains long and filled with notable players. But three starters went from limited on Wednesday to full participation: right guard Kyle Long (shoulder), linebacker Jerrell Freeman (ribs) and defensive lineman Mitch Unrein (knee).
The following players were limited: receiver Alshon Jeffery (knee/hamstring), guard Josh Sitton (shoulder), defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard (toe), outside linebacker Willie Young (knee), cornerback Tracy Porter (knee), safety Harold Jones-Quartey (concussion) and special-teamer Sherrick McManis (hamstring).
Quarterback Jay Cutler (sprained right thumb), linebacker Danny Trevathan (surgery on right thumb), running back Jeremy Langford (sprained ankle), running back Ka’Deem Carey (hamstring) and defensive tackle Eddie Goldman (high-ankle sprain) did not practice.
Lions receiver Marvin Jones was added to the injury report with a hamstring ailment.
Jones is the NFL’s leading receiver after three games with 18 catches for 402 yards. He has two touchdown catches, including a 73-yarder Sunday against the Packers.
“He’s caught a lot of balls, and he’s made some big plays,” defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. “He’s had some big-chunk plays.”