The Bears rave about tight end Matthew Mulligan as a blocker. But they weren’t surprised when the 6-4, 267-pounder also excelled as a receiver last Thursday night against the Jaguars.
Mulligan caught a team-high four passes for 39 yards, including a 23-yarder to the Jacksonville 2 that set up a late touchdown, helping the Bears rally for a 20-19 preseason win.
“We’ve seen it during practice,” said coach Marc Trestman. “We’ve seen his speed in practice, we’ve seen his ability to run vertically up the field and make plays, which showed up [Thursday] night and it’s showed up in practice. He’s shown good hands and good speed, besides his ability to block at his point of attack, so we’re excited about it.”
With tight end Zachary Miller suffering a season-ending foot injury against the Jaguars, Mulligan’s role could expand, but perhaps not to being considered fantasy-worthy. Dante Rosario sat out the Jacksonville game with a sore calf, leaving Mulligan, starter Martellus Bennett and Jeron Mastrud as the Bears’ only healthy tight ends. We heard rumors of the Bears using two TE sets when Miller was standing out, but it remains to be seen if they continue down that road now that he's lost for the season.