Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears: Will Evan Rodriguez Play for the Bears Again?

Dec. 23, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA: Chicago Bears fullback Evan Rodriguez (48) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Bears defeated the Cardinals 28-13. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Alexander CroweCorrespondent IJune 1, 2013

Earlier this offseason, current Chicago Bears fullback Evan Rodriguez was arrested down in Miami on charges of disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without violence. Rodriguez and a few of his teammates were down in Miami for some training, but Rodriguez left to deal with his legal problems.

As of early Friday morning, it seems he is not handling those legal problems very well.

According to chicagobears.com, Evan Rodriguez was arrested at about 3:30 AM CST in Chicago for driving under the influence, speeding and improper lane usage.

Perhaps, what makes the situation even worse is the fact that Rodriguez was traveling on Interstate 90 in Illinois, known as the Kennedy Expressway. If he was charged with speeding on a major highway in Chicago, his speed must have been dangerously high while driving under the influence.

Evan Rodriguez has since had his Miami charges dropped, however, it doesn't change the fact that this is his second alcohol related arrest just this offseason. The arrest now raises serious questions about what his future holds, not just with the Chicago Bears but with any team in the NFL.

For starters, Rodriguez wasn't exactly a go-to player for the Bears last season. He started just five games as a rookie last season and caught just four passes for 21 yards. He was, however, expected to play a much larger role for the Bears this season.

Coming out of college, Rodriguez was converted from a tight end to a fullback last season, which could help to explain why he had just 21 yards receiving and none rushing while appearing in 12 games. After an offseason of hard work and learning, Rodriguez was expected to be the starting fullback for the Bears in 2013. 

It appears now, though, that everyone has been put in a tough place by the most recent arrest. On the side of the Bears, they have to decide whether or not Rodriguez is worth keeping, and if so, what he must to do remain on the roster for the team. 

While he may not have had the best season last year, the Bears have their fullback position invested in the promising young talent, who caught 35 passes for 479 yards and two touchdowns in his final season at Temple two years ago.

If the team decides he's not worth keeping after all of his legal troubles, they then have to decide who is going to replace him on the field. Harvey Unga out of BYU seems to be the next person in line to take over at the position, however, his numbers don't seem to jump out at anyone. Unga has had an on again/off again relationship with the Bears since 2010, and he may finally see his chance to join the Bears on the field this season.

The major question left to be answered is what the Bears will do with Rodriguez now. His first arrest seemed to be old news, and it appeared that the team was ready to move on from it, but now they must face the issue of Rodriguez and his alcohol related arrests head on. And while the Bears consider their options, Rodriguez needs to do everything in his power to make sure that his days of drinking and acting out are over.

For now, fans will have to just wait and see what will happen to Rodriguez after his most recent arrest and how it will affect the new offensive scheme the Bears are putting in place. 

After the March incident down in Miami, Bears GM Phil Emery said of Rodriguez, "He was re-educated on my expectation of a Chicago Bear on and off the field."

It seems safe to say that whatever expectations Emery has of his Bears players, being arrested twice in one offseason, including getting a DUI plus speeding charges on I-90 in Chicago, doesn't quite meet the criteria. 

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