If there is one player that was squarely on the hot seat to keep his spot on the roster before the start of training camp, Corey Wootton was that player. In response, Woottong is putting together a very strong training camp to this point.
Wootton has good size, good strength and good burst off the edge to go with that size and he has showed it throughout the first week of camp. He can set the edge against the run, he can handle an offensive tackle and has a burst.
Wootton has consistently put together good practices, and there's no reason to believe that he can't stay healthy from some of the freak injuries he's suffered in Chicago.
I think it's important to note that Wootton hasn't suffered a serious injury during his career in Chicago. The injury required a minor arthroscopic surgery in which Wootton came back from expected to play. Instead a hand injury slowed his progress back to full strength.
The expectation that Wootton is injury prone and will again suffer an injury that will limit his ability to play this season is absurd. Given Urlacher's injury history, you might as well label him as injury prone. In 2004 Urlacher played in only nine games due to injury, in 2009 Urlacher played for only one half and missed the rest of the season due to injury. Then there was last year's knee injury, does that in turn, earn Urlacher the injury prone label? No, it doesn't even make Urlacher susceptible to injuries.
Injuries in football happen, and can happen at any time. Wootton will be healthy this season and there's no reason to believe he won't. Now with Wootton completely healthy and showing the talent of a first round draft pick with his size, speed and athletic ability combination the question is how big of a season can he have?
Wootton is likely to shift his career into gear in his third season, and the way he has looked in camp shows he could legitimately push for the starting spot opposite Julius Peppers. McClellin's need to learn and develop likely means he develops as the fourth DE on the team.
If the Bears want to win, then Corey Wootton will be ahead of McClellin on the depth chart this season, and receive the playing time necessary to make an impact. If the Bears truly are making McClellin win his job, then Wootton will play more snaps.
Wootton has practiced as good perhaps better than Israel Idonije and it's his turn to show what he can do. The time for Corey Wootton and now, and the Bears would be right to turn the third year DE loose.