Inman, acquired from the Los Angeles Chargers in exchange for a conditional 2018 draft pick, passed his physical but was held out of Thursday’s practice.
That leaves one official practice left until the Bears travel to New Orleans on Saturday, but Inman still wants to play Sunday as long as the Bears sign off on it.
“As a football player, I’ve been playing since I’ve been 8 years old,” Inman said. “If it comes down to it; there have always been guys that have played backyard football. Guys do it now even when they know the offense. It’s just a matter of being confident and trusting in one another.”
Inman doesn’t expect learning the Bears’ playbook to be a major obstacle.
“I was reading the script (playbook) and I was like, “OK, this is 2007 ... OK, this is 2009,” Inman said. “It’s a whole bunch of concepts that I’ve been in before. When I was at Virginia I had five receivers coaches, four offensive coordinators and two head coaches. So, there’s really not an offense that I haven’t been in.”
Inman had a career year with 58 receptions for 810 yards and four touchdowns last season, but his role shrunk in 2017. Prior to the trade, Inman caught just two passes for nine yards in four games for Los Angeles.
“We had a whole bunch of good books in San Diego/Los Angeles... a whole bunch of good books and you just can’t read them all at one time,” Inman explained. “It was an opportunity that [Chargers] coach [Anthony] Lynn and [Chargers general manager] Tom Telesco told me, “Hey, I know you want to play really bad and I know you want to get on the field... this is a better opportunity for you.”
The Bears attempted one pass to a wide receiver (Tanner Gentry) in Week 7.
On the season, veteran Kendall Wright leads all Chicago receivers with 20 catches for 236 yards.
No. 2 on the list: Deonte Thompson (11-125-1), who the Bears released.
Core special-teamer Josh Bellamy has 10 catches for 114 yards.
Tre McBride has one catch for 18 yards.
Veteran Markus Wheaton (groin) is likely inactive again on Sunday.
Asking Inman (6-foot-3) to wing it versus the Saints isn't such a bad idea when you consider the alternatives.