Photo credit: Dan White (dwhite@dailyherald.com)
Photo credit: Dan White (dwhite@dailyherald.com) — Daniel White

Four Chicago Bears players, including two who started games for the team last season and one who looked good in last week's Hall of Fame Game, will not be making the trip to Cincinnati this week, the team announced.

WR Joshua Bellamy, DB Rashard Fant, LB Isaiah Irving and TE Dion Sims will stay back while their teammates take on the Bengals on Thursday night at Paul Brown Stadium.

Sims started all 14 games he played in 2017 after joining the Bears in free agency prior to last season. He was considered a disappointment from a receiving production standpoint (15 catches, 180 yards, TD), especially with the Bears losing Zach Miller to a career-threatening injury and rookie Adam Shaheen starting slowly at the position, but new head coach Matt Nagy called Sims a "valuable piece of this puzzle" in May.

It's not clear what injury will prevent Sims from making the trip.

Bellamy has been a valuable special-teams contributor for the Bears since joining the team in the 2014 season, and he started seven games last season, catching 24 passes for 376 yards with one touchdown. But Bellamy, who is dealing with a shoulder injury, has struggled with drops last season and early in camp and suddenly faces a crowded WR room with a revamped roster.

The most disappointing omission from the upcoming exhibition game might be Irving, who is coming off a standout performance in the Hall of Fame Game loss to the Ravens. Irving made Bob LeGere's list of top performers from the game, making several impressive plays on defense with the reserves. Irving joined the Bears last season as an undrafted rookie out of San Jose State, making two tackles and recovering a fumble in seven games in 2017.

Fant, an undrafted rookie out of Indiana, signed with the Bears after not being selected in April. He had five interceptions in four seasons for the Hoosiers and projects to being a nickel corner if he can make it in the NFL. But so far, injuries have kept him from achieving much in camp with the Bears.

There will be others who do not play in Thursday's game, decisions that Nagy said the staff was figuring out starting late Tuesday night.