Darnell Mooney

Chicago Bears
Wide Receiver #11
Chicago Bears
Wide Receiver #11

Darnell Mooney News

Still rehabbing ankle injury

Mooney (ankle) isn't participating in Bears OTAs this week, Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Mooney went down in Week 12 of last season and needed surgery on the ankle. Coach Matt Eberflus said Mooney is "progressing," but it sounds like we shouldn't expect to see him on the field before the start of training camp. With D.J. Moore now in town, Mooney's targets are going to take a hit, but he should see less attention from opposing defenses. Look for Mooney to serve as Chicago's top downfield weapon with Moore and Cole Kmet hogging intermediate looks.

May 23, 2023 12:03 PM EST

Recovery going well

Mooney was spotted running during spring workouts and appears to be recovering well from 2022's season-ending ankle injury, Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Chicago's top receiver suffered an ankle injury in Week 12 of last season that kept him out for the remainder of the year, but his recovery seems to be going well. Before the injury, the now fourth-year wide receiver was leading the team with 493 yards, 61 targets and 40 receptions in what was a down year compared to his previous season where he had 1,055 yards, 140 targets and 81 receptions. In the ensuing months, Chicago acquired wide receivers Chase Claypool and DJ Moore and addressed their poor offensive line play, drafting tackle Darnell Wright 10th overall and signing guard Nate Davis in an effort to maximize starting quarterback Justin Fields. While Mooney won't be the target hog he used to be due to Chicago's new and improved weapons, he could be more potent on a per-play basis.

May 6, 2023 1:12 PM EST

Should be back for OTAs

Bears head coach Matt Eberflus said Tuesday that Mooney (ankle) should be back on the field in some capacity this spring depending on how his rehab process goes, Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Mooney is working his way back from the season-ending surgery he underwent to repair a fractured left ankle, an injury he sustained in the Bears' Week 12 loss to the Jets. Before getting hurt, the third-year wideout was the top target for quarterback Justin Fields, hauling in 40 passes for 493 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games. The Bears are likely to address their receiving group through the draft, free agency and/or the trade market this offseason, but Mooney should be locked into a starting role regardless of what additions Chicago makes.

Jan 10, 2023 9:16 AM EST

Ends season on injured reserve

Mooney ended the season with 40 receptions for 493 yards and two touchdowns over 12 games.

Analysis: After breaking out with 1,055 yards and four touchdowns in 2021, it was a disappointing season for Mooney. Early in the season, he was limited by an offense that used Justin Fields as a drop-back passer behind a porous offensive line. As the Bears began to use Fields' legs more often, Mooney became more productive. Unless the Bears make adding wide receiver talent an offseason priority, Mooney could remain the team's top option in the passing game. He's under contract with the team through the 2023 season.

Jan 8, 2023 5:28 PM EST

Goes on IR

Chicago placed Mooney (ankle) on injured reserve Tuesday, Larry Mayer of the Bears' official site reports.

Analysis: Mooney's move to IR comes as little surprise after Bears head coach Matt Eberflus revealed Monday that the receiver would require season-ending surgery to address the right ankle injury he sustained in Sunday's loss to the Jets. The third-year player finishes the season with 40 receptions for 493 yards and two touchdowns across 61 targets in 10 games. The Bears are left with Chase Claypool, Equanimeous St. Brown, Dante Pettis, Byron Pringle, Velus Jones and N'Keal Harry as their healthy options at receiver with their No. 1 target out for the season.

Nov 29, 2022 11:35 AM EST

Out for season per HC

Coach Matt Eberflus said Monday that Mooney (ankle) is likely headed to IR and will need ankle surgery, which will end his season, Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Analysis: As expected, Mooney's season is over after suffering an ankle injury on a run play during Sunday's loss to the Jets. He'll end his season with 40 receptions on 61 targets for 493 yards and two touchdowns. It will wind up being a disappointing third season for the wideout, who totaled a career-high 1,055 receiving yards last year.

Nov 28, 2022 12:24 PM EST

Season-ending surgery likely

Mooney likely needs season-ending surgery for the ankle injury he suffered in Sunday's 31-10 loss to the Jets, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Mooney went down in pain after having his leg rolled up on. It turns out the injury was to his ankle, and while further tests are necessary for confirmation, the expectation is that Mooney will need season-ending surgery. He'll likely finish his third NFL season with 40 catches for 493 yards and two touchdowns on 61 targets, getting less than halfway to last year's career-high 1,055 yards.

Nov 27, 2022 5:49 PM EST

Injures leg Sunday

Mooney left Sunday's game at the Jets with an apparent leg injury, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports.

Analysis: On the first play of the Bears' second drive of the third quarter, Mooney stayed on the turf for a spell as he was tended to by team trainers. He then wasn't able to put any weight on his left leg as he was assisted to the locker room. The nature of the issue is unknown, but Chicago may have to go with Equanimeous St. Brown, Chase Claypool, Dante Pettis, Byron Pringle and Velus Jones at wide receiver for the rest of Week 12.

Nov 27, 2022 11:55 AM EST

Finds end zone in Week 11 loss

Mooney caught four of five targets for 29 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 27-24 loss to Atlanta.

Analysis: Mooney capped Chicago's first possession with a 16-yard touchdown catch. He got behind his defender deep downfield on the next drive, but Justin Fields overthrew the speedy wide receiver. Chicago went with a run-heavy approach the rest of the way, and Mooney actually finished with team-high totals in targets and catches. Fields hurt his non-throwing shoulder late in the game, but even if the starting quarterback plays in Week 12 against the Jets, Mooney will be tough to trust against standout rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner.

Nov 20, 2022 1:33 PM EST

Four catches Sunday

Mooney caught all four of his targets for 57 yards in Sunday's 31-30 loss to the Lions.

Analysis: The four targets represented Mooney's lowest volume since Week 2, but the third-year wideout did what he could with them. Cole Kmet has emerged as Justin Fields' favorite option in recent weeks, leading the Bears with seven targets Sunday and catching five TDs over the last three games, but no other Chicago player saw more than two targets. Mooney remains the top WR in a low-volume passing attack heading into a Week 11 clash with the Falcons.

Nov 13, 2022 3:38 PM EST

First TD of '22 in loss

Mooney secured seven of eight targets for 43 yards and a touchdown in the Bears' 35-32 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday. He also rushed once for two yards.

Analysis: Mooney led the Bears in receptions, receiving yards and targets while also recording his first touchdown of the season on a nifty 16-yard catch with 1:53 remaining in the first half. The third-year speedster's production continues to unsurprisingly run parallel to Justin Fields' improved efficiency and accuracy, as he now has at least five receptions in three of his last four games. Mooney will aim for another trip to the end zone in a favorable Week 10 home divisional battle against the Lions.

Nov 6, 2022 3:56 PM EST

Overcomes slow start

Mooney recorded five receptions on five targets for 70 yards in Sunday's 49-29 loss to the Cowboys.

Analysis: Mooney got off to a slow start in the first half by tallying only one reception for three yards, with the Bears instead heavily reliant on their rushing attack. However, he was able to make some big plays in the second half -- highlighted by gains of 36 and 17 yards -- to lead the team in both receptions and receiving yards. His volume remains inconsistent, but Mooney has at least one catch of more than 20 yards in five straight games. In that same span, he's managed a minimum of 52 receiving yards.

Oct 30, 2022 4:53 PM EST

Fades after hot start

Mooney recorded three receptions on six targets for 53 yards in Monday's 33-14 win over the Patriots.

Analysis: Mooney helped the Bears get off to a hot start offensively, tallying receptions of 20,17 and 16 yards prior to halftime. However, Justin Fields attempted just eight passes in the final two quarters with the Bears in control of the game, limiting Mooney's potential for a big performance. Despite the disappointing close to the game, Mooney has topped 50 receiving yards in four consecutive games after combining to post 27 yards across the first three contests of the campaign.

Oct 24, 2022 9:16 PM EST

Comes up just short on final play

Mooney secured seven of 12 targets for 68 yards in the Bears' 12-7 loss to the Commanders on Thursday night.

Analysis: The third-year speedster led the Bears in receptions and targets while checking in second in receiving yards, but his final catch of the night is what will draw the most attention. Mooney hauled in a pass from Justin Fields that initially hit him in the chest mid-air as his body crossed the plane of the goal line, but he bobbled it and didn't secure it until coming down about a half-yard short of the end zone. The fact the play unfolded on fourth down with 30 seconds remaining and the Bears down five naturally magnifies the failure to score and sullies what was otherwise a second straight encouraging performance for Mooney following a forgettable start to the season. The 2020 fifth-round pick will aim to atone when the Bears visit the Patriots for a Week 7 Monday night showdown Oct. 24.

Oct 13, 2022 8:41 PM EST

Makes highlight grab

Mooney caught two of five targets for 52 yards in Sunday's 29-22 loss to the Vikings.

Analysis: Mooney's performance was highlighted by an outstanding one-handed catch for 39 yards during the second quarter. That play marked Chicago's longest through the air, helping quarterback Justin Fields finish with a season-high 208 passing yards. With back-to-back games with at least 50 receiving yards, Mooney has built a bit of momentum ahead of Week 6's matchup versus the Dolphins.

Oct 9, 2022 1:43 PM EST

Season-high 94 yards in loss

Mooney caught four of five targets for 94 yards in Sunday's 20-12 loss to the Giants.

Analysis: Mooney came into this one averaging just nine receiving yards per game in 2022 but posted a performance reminiscent of last season's 1,055-yard campaign. He accounted for most of Justin Fields' 174 passing yards, with the majority of Mooney's production coming on a 56-yard catch in the first quarter. Mooney should remain the top fantasy option in Chicago's low-volume passing game against the Vikings in Week 5.

Oct 2, 2022 2:03 PM EST

Two catches in Week 3

Mooney caught two of six targets for 23 yards in Sunday's 23-20 win over the Texans.

Analysis: Mooney led the Bears in targets but once again failed to make much of an impact as Justin Fields completed only eight passes. Fields is averaging fewer than 100 passing yards per game, so it will be tough to trust any Bears receivers in Week 4 against the Giants, though Mooney remains the nominal top option among that group.

Sep 25, 2022 2:46 PM EST

No progress in Week 2

Mooney caught one of two targets for minus-4 yards in Sunday's 27-10 loss to the Packers.

Analysis: Two weeks into the season, Mooney has just four receiving yards on five targets, and there wasn't any inclement weather to blame his poor performance on this time. He's far from the only member of Chicago's passing attack that's off to a slow start, as quarterback Justin Fields has thrown for just 182 yards through two games. Mooney will try to get his season on track in Week 3 against the Texans and rookie cornerback Derek Stingley, whom Houston selected third overall in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Sep 18, 2022 9:03 PM EST

Slow start to season

Mooney caught one pass for eight yards in the Bears' 19-10 win over the 49ers on Sunday.

Analysis: Mooney didn't catch his only pass until the fourth quarter, though he was targeted three times. Both teams threw for just 285 yards, as the game was played on a soaked field along with intermittent heavy rain. He should go back to being heavily targeted when the Bears travel to Green Bay next week.

Sep 11, 2022 5:12 PM EST

One catch in preseason finale

Mooney caught his only target for five yards in Chicago's preseason game against Cleveland on Saturday.

Analysis: Mooney didn't have much to do in Chicago's preseason finale, but the exact opposite will be the case when the Bears kick off their regular season schedule. As much as his Week 1 matchup against San Francisco might be less than favorable, the Bears might need to give him a good target count anyway.

Aug 27, 2022 7:52 PM EST

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