Coming off a 24-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, the Chicago Bears at the moment are immersed in a brief week as they work towards Thursday night time’s sport in opposition to the Carolina Panthers at Soldier Field.
The Bears will probably be seeking to get again on observe in opposition to the 1-7 Panthers however should keep versatile as they type by means of their quarterback scenario. Here are 4 issues we realized Tuesday at Halas Hall.
1. The Bears haven’t supplied readability on their quarterback plans for Thursday.
They held a closed walk-through Tuesday and formally listed Justin Fields as a restricted participant. Fields, who missed the final three video games with a dislocated proper thumb, is testing the thumb’s grip energy and general performance.
On Monday, coach Matt Eberflus mentioned Fields must cross three checkpoints to play. The first is getting clearance from the staff’s medical workers. Then Fields should categorical his personal consolation and confidence in taking part in. Finally, Bears coaches will assess whether or not he can perform nicely sufficient to carry out at a excessive degree.
If Fields doesn’t get the inexperienced gentle, undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent would make his fourth consecutive begin coming off a loss in New Orleans during which he threw three interceptions and misplaced a fumble.
Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy expressed confidence in with the ability to put collectively a plan — and a contingency plan — for Thursday that might enable the Bears to “take this thing in a few different directions.”
“The guys feel really comfortable in doing that,” Getsy mentioned. “So from everybody else’s perspective in that (offensive) room, other than the two quarterbacks, it’s not going to feel like it’s a different game plan by any means if we go one direction or the other.”
2. Velus Jones Jr. was reprimanded for his fourth-quarter private foul penalty.
Jones was flagged for a face-mask infraction with 2:45 remaining when he was engaged with Saints cornerback Isaac Yiadom throughout a Bears punt.
Special groups coordinator Richard Hightower known as the foul “unacceptable,” noting the Bears have been punting from their finish zone and acquired what he labeled a “phenomenal” kick from Trent Gill plus terrific protection from Darrynton Evans and Roschon Johnson that restricted Rashid Shaheed to a 6-yard return to the Saints 49.
But the Saints tacked on 15 yards after Jones’ penalty. And regardless that the Bears protection got here up with a cease and Saints kicker Blake Grupe missed a 47-yard discipline aim, Hightower was agitated by what he known as “a bad penalty 20 yards away from the play.”
“That is unacceptable,” Hightower mentioned. “It’s an unacceptable penalty. And why? Because we pleasure ourselves on situational soccer. And in that scenario, we may have had the ball on the 50-yard line in opposition to an excellent punt returner.
“That was a beautiful punt by Trent and beautiful coverage. And it’s unfortunate we have to talk about that part of the play because that’s what happened. It’s unacceptable.”
As for Grupe’s missed discipline aim, Hightower credited Kyler Gordon for affecting the kick as he got here screaming off the left facet of the road.
“For Kyler to have that pressure off the edge, I definitely believe it spooked (Grupe) and he yanked it,” Hightower mentioned. “That was outstanding and it gave us a chance to get the ball back and potentially go down and have a chance to win the game.”
3. Teven Jenkins looks like he has discovered a groove.
Jenkins has performed nicely since coming off injured reserve in Week 5 and continues to showcase his tenacity up entrance. He began the final three video games at proper guard and mentioned Tuesday he’s creating a precious chemistry on that facet with deal with Darnell Wright.
As for the groove Jenkins has found?
“I feel like I’m getting my steps down right, my hand placement’s good, (I’m) rolling people off the ball,” Jenkins mentioned. “I’m just moving people A to B. It’s just stuff where how I want to play (is) showing up.”
Jenkins mentioned he will probably be comfy shifting again to the left facet when Nate Davis returns from a excessive ankle sprain. On both facet, he continues to impress the teaching workers with the best way he has held up in cross safety and much more so with how he’s setting a tone as a run blocker.
“He’s firing off the rock,” Getsy mentioned. “He’s playing physical. He’s finishing as well as anybody on the field. All that stuff has been really good, really positive stuff for him to continue to build on.”
4. Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds stays sidelined with a knee damage.
Edmunds suffered the damage within the second half of the Week 8 loss to the Chargers and was listed as a non-participant Tuesday. Other gamers listed as “did not participate” on the damage report have been Davis (ankle), fullback Khari Blasingame (concussion) and cornerback Terell Smith (sickness).
Running again Khalil Herbert, extensive receiver Equanimeous St. Brown and cornerback Josh Blackwell have been full contributors after being designated Monday to return from IR. All three are eligible to be activated to the 53-man roster for Thursday’s sport.