By Chris Emma—
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) – Opportunity knocks for third-year Bears safety Adrian Amos, who’s back in a starting role after losing his job.
Amos is being asked by the Bears to assume the role of Quintin Demps, who suffered a fractured right forearm in Sunday’s game. Demps is out indefinitely, and he could be placed on injured reserve, the Bears have said.
Now, Amos will be lining up alongside rookie Eddie Jackson, who beat him out for the starting job that he held for his first two professional seasons.
“Just go out there and play ball,” Amos said. “I love playing football. Never like to see anybody get injured, but that’s a teammate and you know how much this means to (Demps) and everybody else to get out there and have an opportunity to play football. Just trying to cherish that opportunity to get to play.”
Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio didn’t hesitate in making Amos the next man up at safety. He started 30 games there during his first two seasons, becoming a steady player against the run. But Amos is still without an interception in his career, and the Bears are seeking players who can change the game with takeaways.
Jackson proved to the Bears during the preseason that his knack for finding the football – something clear on his film from Alabama – was legitimate. They were ready for something new, and Amos settled in as a reserve.
“I didn’t really see it as me losing my job or anything,” Amos said. “My role changed a little bit and I took that in, concentrated and focused on keep being prepared every week.”
Added Fangio: “All you say to him is, ‘Let’s go. Here’s your second opportunity. You knew it would come again. It has come early. Let’s go play good.’”
It remains to be seen whether Demps will be shut down for the season. Bears coach John Fox couldn’t say Tuesday whether his fracture will require surgery, and the team has yet to place him on injured reserve. No roster moves have been made to this point.
Amos has proved that he can be a capable presence in the back end, but there’s plenty more to be desired. For him to stick as a starter, takeaways must follow.
Perhaps experience can make Amos a better player.
“I have a better feel for the game,” he said. “But time will tell come game-time.”