Markus Wheaton still building confidence in surgically repaired finger

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The Chicago Bears listed seven players as questionable for Sunday’s game at Tampa, including wide receiver Markus Wheaton (finger), left guard Kyle Long (ankle), outside linebacker Leonard Floyd (back) and running back Jordan Howard (shoulder).

Chicago is perilously thin at receiver after losing Cameron Meredith and Kevin White to season-ending injuries, but Wheaton’s practice regimen has been limited.

Wheaton said that he’d feel better with a week of full practices under his belt before the Bears activate him for a regular season game.

“More so for them upstairs [the front office],” Wheaton said on Friday. “They want to see me practicing before they throw me out in a game, so I have to build confidence in them also in myself and my finger, and then we'll go.”

Wheaton also admitted that he has been unable to develop much chemistry with starting quarterback Mike Glennon. The former Pittsburgh Steeler sat out most of the early portions training camp due to an appendectomy. He underwent that procedure prior to having surgery to repair his broken left pinkie finger.

“We got a good amount of reps in camp but definitely not where I want to be and I'm sure not where he wants to be,” Wheaton said. “So, we have to work on that.”

As for Long, Raymond James Stadium – the home of the Bucs -- was the site of the horrific ankle injury he sustained last year that required surgery. Long is improving, but he may still be a week or two away from making his 2017 debut.

Like Wheaton, Long was limited all week in practice.

“[I’m] getting closer and closer,” Long said. “I wouldn’t be able to tell you 100 percent [that I’m ready to play], but I will say I’m a lot farther along than I was.”

Meantime, the Bears added Floyd to the injury report on Friday with a tight back. The pass-rusher did not want to discuss his injury when questioned by reporters, but Floyd still practiced on a limited basis, after having full participation on Wednesday and Thursday.

Howard – limited all week – did not speak to reporters in any of the Week 2 open locker room sessions. Howard also failed to meet to the media following the Bears’ 23-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday. Beard coach John Fox said Howard hurt his shoulder on his 4-yard touchdown run.

Cornerback Prince Amukamara (ankle), wide receiver Josh Bellamy (ankle), inside linebacker Christian Jones (back) and Deon Bush (hamstring) are also questionable.

Veteran running back Benny Cunningham is doubtful with a high-ankle sprain.