After spending the first five weeks of the football season watching from home, former Trojan Darreus Rogers will officially join the NFL this week. The wide receiver signed with the Chicago Bears on Wednesday as an undrafted free agent.
Rogers will join the team’s practice squad after an announcement from the team confirmed that they had released wide receiver Deonte Thompson and promoted wide receiver Tanner Gentry to the official roster. He wasn’t picked up in the 2017 NFL Draft but earned a spot on the training camp roster with the Seattle Seahawks. However, the team waived Rogers in early September before final roster cuts, leaving him without a home for this season.
He will now join the Bears, who sit at fourth in the NFC North with a 1-4 season record, as a potential target for first round quarterback pick Mitch Trubisky.
Despite struggling with injuries, Rogers played an important role in the Trojans’ offense throughout his four years at USC. After grayshirting in 2012, he played 11 games as a freshman but missed three weeks due to an injury to his right ankle. As a sophomore, Rogers played 13 games and started in three, then moved into a more permanent starting role in his junior year. In his third season, Rogers started in 11 games and roped in 28 catches for 289 yards and three touchdowns despite battling recurring hamstring injuries.
Last season, Rogers was a standout for the wide receiving corps as redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold came into his own. Rogers snagged 56 catches for 696 yards and four touchdowns, coming second on the team only behind JuJu Smith-Schuster, who now plays a vital role in the Pittsburgh Steelers offense.
Rogers is now one of over 40 former Trojans playing on practice squads and official rosters throughout the NFL. He joins former teammates such as Adoree’ Jackson, Chad Wheeler and Stevie Tu’ikolovatu.