Santonio Holmes’ time with the Bears proved to be brief and nondescript. Eighty-seven days to be exact. Nine games. Eight catches for 67 yards plus nine punt returns for 50 yards.
The Bears’ hope of getting complementary contributions and the occasional big-play spark from the ninth-year wide receiver never quite materialized. And on Tuesday, the team waived him as part of a series of roster moves.
Linebacker Terrell Manning also had his practice squad stay terminated. And receiver Rashad Lawrence, an undrafted rookie out of Northwestern, was added to the team’s practice squad.
But the exit of Holmes, the Super Bowl XLIII MVP, was by far Tuesday’s most notable transaction.
Holmes signed a one-year, $855,000 deal with the Bears on Aug. 16, a move made to bolster the team’s depth at receiver after Marquess Wilson broke his clavicle during training camp.
But Wilson’s recovery is now nearly complete. He returned to the practice field last week and is awaiting the Bears' official move to slide him back onto the active 53-man roster from the injured reserve, designated to return list.
That move now seems a near certainty to occur this week.
Holmes, who turned 30 in March, had his biggest outing for the Bears in Week 1, a two-catch, 21-yard output. He never made a major impact in the offense. And with his meager production, the Bears’ 3-6 record and an eye now on the future, Holmes no longer figured into the team’s plans.
Wilson, meanwhile, could provide at least a small spark to an offense that badly needs it. Asked last week if he could pick up quickly where he left off as the team’s third receiver before his clavicle injury, Wilson shrugged.
“I’m not sure,” he said. “I feel like I can. But I still have to prove myself all over again because I can’t come in thinking that it’s just mine all over. I have to work for something I want.”
Return policy: Chris Williams’ 101-yard kickoff return touchdown in the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s loss to the Packers came on his 10th return of the game and his 21st this season. Williams’ unfortunate workload allowed him to produce 288 kick return yards Sunday, setting a new single-game Bears record. (The previous mark was Devin Hester’s 249 on five returns in Week 2 last season.)
Williams’ touchdown was the Bears’ first kickoff return score since Oct. 16, 2011 when Hester had a 98-yarder against the Vikings.
Ominous: The Bears’ loss Sunday at Green Bay left them at 3-6, the first time they have fallen three games below .500 since late in 2009 when a four-game losing streak dropped them to 5-9.