Determination and gratitude aren’t enough to make an NFL roster. But wide receiver hopeful Rodney Adams is throwing some solid preseason stats on top of that to strengthen his case as the Bears get ready to make their final cuts Tuesday.
Adams, 27, has persevered through four tumultuous seasons since the Vikings drafted him in the fifth round out of South Florida and cut him midway through his rookie season. He retired for two years before trying to restart his career with the Colts and Bears last summer.
But if the Bears keep six receivers, as expected, Adams has a shot to stick thanks in large part to seven catches for 146 yards and a touchdown over the first two preseason games with ample playing time likely coming Saturday against the Titans.
“Given what I have gone through, just getting to this point is a huge,” Adams said after practice Wednesday. “Huge goal and accomplishment for me… Not a lot of people are strong enough to stay the course, to get to this point. I’m just really blessed to be here.”
Adams celebrated his 73-yard touchdown catch from Andy Dalton against the Bills on Saturday by pantomiming rocking a baby. His daughter, Brexleigh, was born the night before.
With the top five receiver spots essentially locked in, Adams’ main competition is Javon Wims and Riley Ridley.
Wims, a seventh-round pick in 2018, has played a minor role on offense and never had more than 56 yards receiving in a game. Ridley, a 2019 fourth-rounder, has 10 career catches and played 4% of the snaps last season.
Adams’ motivation to cling to his career has been driven by the death of his mother, Michelle Scott, who passed away when he was in college.
“My mom would’ve wanted the world for me,” he said when asked why he persisted when others might not have. “Just honoring her and fighting back [to be] in the NFL. It’s all for her, [and] now she has to share that spot with Brexleigh. But just staying strong.”