Adam Shaheen Looking At Last Chance With Bears

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- As the Bears balance what hope they still have left in this season with the uncertainty that exists in their future, they will have some difficult decisions to make.

One could come with third-year tight end Adam Shaheen, who was designated a healthy inactive for the first time in his career in the Bears' 20-13 win against the Lions on Sunday. Selected in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Shaheen has 26 receptions over 27 career games. The Bears chose the Division-II Ashland University product over the likes of Alvin Kamara, JuJu Smith-Schuster and George Kittle, all Pro Bowl talents who were viable options for Chicago. 

Amid the latest development, it's clear the Bears' patience with Shaheen is running thin.

"We want all of our players to be able to be completely detailed and play hard and do everything they can to be the best player they can be," Bears coach Matt Nagy said of Shaheen on Monday.

Nagy declined to say whether Shaheen will be inactive again when Chicago plays at the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. The Bears don't view their decision to be the beginning of the end for Shaheen's tenure with the team, but it's certainly a sign of the disappointment they've felt.

The 25-year-old Shaheen was coming off a tough game in the Bears' loss to the Eagles on Nov. 3. He had a drop on a third-down play and a costly fumble on a kickoff with 22 seconds remaining to end any last-ditch chance the Bears had. Shaheen has also struggled to run block.

But the decision to bench him wasn't made in a vacuum.

"Each week, we evaluate the grouping of football players that are going to help us win," tight ends coach Kevin Gilbride said. "He didn't make it. That's the only week he didn't make it so far. Hopefully he will moving forward.

"It should light a little bit of a fire underneath you and have you want to come back and work on the things that you need to work on."

Shaheen battled injuries during his first two NFL seasons, missing 13 regular-season games, but he has failed to produce while being mostly healthy this season. He has only nine catches for 74 yards in eight games.

The Bears' failure to establish Shaheen in their offense comes as they've desperately sought solutions at tight end. Chicago was without a touchdown from a tight end this season before Ben Braunecker's 18-yard scoring reception in the second quarter Sunday. Meanwhile, top tight end Trey Burton has battled a groin issue since late August and suffered a calf injury late in the game Sunday.

While quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and the offense have struggled this season, general manager Ryan Pace and his brass can only imagine what the Shaheen they once envisioned could've brought. They saw a 6-foot-6 tight end being a size mismatch and a potentially dominant force.

Over the course of three disappointing seasons from Shaheen, the Bears have come to realize he isn't the player they once pictured.

By benching Shaheen, the Bears are signaling that he has one last chance to prove something to them.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.