Injuries have prevented Connor Shaw from reaching his full potential in the NFL, but that hasn’t hurt his confidence as he enters his fourth year in the league.
In 2015 with the Cleveland Browns, the winningest quarterback in South Carolina history suffered a thumb injury in a preseason game, forcing him to miss the entire season. Last year with the Chicago Bears, Shaw suffered a broken leg when Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches landed on his planted left foot after a touchdown pass in the third preseason game.
Before the injury, Shaw was in contention to back up starter Jay Cutler. He completed 11 of 16 passes for 127 yards with two touchdowns and had the second highest quarterback rating in the preseason behind Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott.
“Been unfortunate the last couple years with injuries, but sometimes that is how the game goes,” Shaw said Saturday at his annual football camp at River Bluff High School. “You just got to respond to it, and I will be ready to go this year.”
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The Bears re-signed Shaw in March but waived him on May 30, only to bring him back because of an injury to backup QB Mark Sanchez. He showed his sense of humor by tweeting out a pic of ESPN analyst Lee Corso with his signature, “Not so fast my friend.”
Shaw is one of four quarterbacks on Chicago’s roster. The Bears drafted North Carolina’s Mitch Tribisky with their first round pick, signed Tampa Bay’s Mike Glennon to a free-agent deal and brought in Sanchez.
“It is a deep room, but competition brings out the best in everyone. I have always enjoyed competing so it’s going to be fun,” Shaw said.
Shaw said his injured leg is feeling great, and he had a strong offseason. He took up cycling and completed his first big ride with former world-class cyclist Bobby Julich helping him.
Shaw said he plans to add cycling as a staple in his offseason program.
“I have a new level of respect for those guys,” Shaw said. “I can see why people do it. I am fortunate to have some guys who know what they are doing teach me how.”
Shaw also has been keeping an eye on the Gamecocks and loved the energy and passion Will Muschamp brought in during his first season. He believes sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley has a chance to be pretty special.
“I’m a big fan of Jake, and I think he is going to be a great quarterback. I like his demeanor. He is a young guy, but you never would know about it. He is composed and nothing is too big for him. I look forward to him progressing through his career.”