NFL Europe Update

With the loss of D'Wayne Bates and Marcus Robinson's health concerns the Bears need depth at receiver. Chicago drafted Delaware wideout Jamin Elliot in the sixth round, but the team may have an answer waiting for them in Germany.

The Bears allocated 14 players to NFL Europe and two of them wound up with the Berlin Thunder. Receivers Ramondo North and Kenny Christian are off to solid starts through two weeks of the season.

In particular, Christian is among the league leaders in touchdowns and reception yards. In the season opener Christian had three receptions for 72 yards and two touchdowns. In week two the receiver went up against the team that cut him at the end of training camp. Christian came up with two catches for 35 yards.The 6-1, 198 pounder out of Eastern Michigan will have an outside of making the team. However, North might have a better chance because he can also return kicks and is getting an opportunity to hone the skill in Europe. The 5-11, 176 pounder played college ball at North Carolina A&T. He spent time on the Bears practice squad during the 2001 season, but was never on the active roster.

There is precedence for Christian and North to make the team. Ahmad Merritt spent time in Europe last year and battled his way on to the practice squad out of training camp and was eventually signed to the active roster. He contributed at the end of the season catching two balls for 20 yards. In Chicago's playoff loss to the Eagles, Merritt had the Bears only offensive touchdown on a 47-yard score on a reverse. In 2002 Merritt will likely be the Bears fifth receiver and could add a much-needed threat on kick returns.

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