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N’Keal Harry, the oft-injured wide receiver with the Chicago Bears, has a chance to make an impression on his new team tonight. The Bears host the Washington Commanders, and the former New England Patriots No. 1 pick could make his long-awaited debut.

While Thursday night might be his time to shine, it’s the following week that’s been circled on his calendar.

N’Keal Harry ready for a new start with the Chicago Bears

N’Keal Harry of the New England Patriots looks on during warmups before the game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on November 28, 2021, in Foxborough, Massachusetts. | Billie Weiss/Getty Images.

Harry is ready for new NFL life after a rough three years with the Patriots, who selected him in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. New England had high expectations for the 6-foot-4, 225-pound star out of Arizona State. He fell far short of those projections.

Harry was the second wideout taken in 2019. The Patriots selected him in front of current stars Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown, and D.K. Metcalf. He carried the “bust” label with him during his time in New England, finishing his three-year stint with four touchdown catches and 598 receiving yards.

The Patriots bit the bullet and traded Harry to the Bears in July for a seventh-round draft pick. In his final season with the Patriots, he caught 12 passes in 12 games. He didn’t have a touchdown reception.

Harry injured his ankle during training camp this year and is recovering from surgery. According to ESPN, the Bears have been taking a “wait and see” approach before activating him Thursday. Harry was listed as a full participant for Wednesday’s practice and is eager to get going.

“It’s been hard just sitting here watching, especially once I started going to the games and standing on the sidelines,” Harry said. “It just brings you so much closer to the actual game. So I’m excited. I’m ecstatic.”

Harry may be looking a week ahead


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As “ecstatic” as Harry is to begin his career with the Bears, he might even be more excited for the following week. Week 7 is when the Bears play at New England for a Monday Night Football game. He admitted he “absolutely” had that game circled on the calendar.

According to Bears Insider Josh Schrock, Harry was asked if he had the Patriots game on his radar.

“Absolutely. It’s my old team,” he said, per Schrock. ‘That always comes with wanting to play well.”

Schrock also added that Harry said it would be nice for the Patriots to have an up-close look at him seizing his new opportunity.

Bears coach Matt Eberflus said he’d love to get another big wide receiver in Harry out on the field to give quarterback Justin Fields another weapon.

“Those big guys are open,” Eberflus said, per ESPN. “You can throw a deep pass to him, they’re open, and they go get it, go up and climb and go get the ball. Any time we can add another guy like that to the mix, it’s going to create competition, and it’s going to create more athletic ability on the football field for our offense.”

Stay tuned. Even if Harry doesn’t get going Thursday, things should get interesting against his old team in Week 7.

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