If the Chicago Bears look to air the football out more against Tampa Bay this Sunday they are likely to get less resistance than expected.
Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman, a recent Buccaneers addition, will possibly be sidelined a couple of weeks with a pulled hamstring.
Greg Auman, The Athletic's Bucs beat reporter confirmed Sherman was inactive for practice and his current status isn't likely to change for this Sunday.
Sherman reportedly suffered his injury during Tampa Bay's 28-22 win over the Philadelphia Eagles last Thursday evening. It was the third game in 12 days for the 11-year veteran after not playing or practicing the prior 288 days before signing with Tampa Bay in late September.
Tampa Bay has dealt with a rash of injuries to its defense in 2021, specifically its secondary. Starters Sean Murphy-Bunting and Carlton Davis are on injured reserve. Murphy-Bunting is eligible to return to action but is still dealing with a dislocated elbow. Cornerback Jamel Dean and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. have also missed time. Dean sat out a week with a knee injury but is currently available, while Winfield Jr., who suffered a concussion in Week 4, is expected to clear the concussion protocol this week.
The Bucs need less experienced contributors to step up and the Bears may be able to put up better passing numbers than they have to begin the season. Chicago has one of the NFL's least prolific passing attacks, ranking last in the league in passing yards total and per game as well as passing touchdowns and second to last in quarterback rate.
Rookie quarterback Justin Fields threw for 174 yards and a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers last Sunday, he's only thrown for over 200 yards once, passing for 209 yards in Week 4 against the Detroit Lions.