Club Dub returned on Sunday, along with some postgame smiles, but after a 20-13 win over Detroit, the Bears' locker room didn't feel like one that had just ended a four-game losing streak.
That's because Danny Trevathan, the defense's heart and soul – not to mention a pretty damn good inside linebacker – left Sunday's game after suffering a gruesome-looking injury to his elbow. Nick Kwiatkoski filled in admirably, and the Bears didn't have any updates after the game. For whatever it's worth, Trevathan was seen leaving the locker room in a sling.
"You hate to lose a guy like Danny like that because he's such a leader for us," Matt Nagy said. "We look at him for so many different intangibles."
"It's tough, man. It's tough," Eddie Jackson said. "Ever since I walked through the door, Danny's been a real leader. A real vet. To see him go down, it's tough.
"That's one thing about him: he'll still be focused, he'll still be around."
The Bears now face a daunting uphill climb without two of their emotional leaders. If there's any hope for a second half turnaround, they'll have to do it playing three divisional road games without some key figures on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, who also gets the heart-and-soul tag a lot, has been out since Week 5's loss to the Raiders. As of Sunday night, there's technically a chance that both return, but it doesn't sound like the team is holding out much hope.
"We just have to put him on our back," Jackson said. "Akiem's down, Danny's down – those are two of our biggest leaders. Everyone's just got to rally together and do it for them."
While mostly true, the narrative about Trevathan's presence as a leader overshadows the fact that the Bears are losing their most productive linebacker. He's started all eight games this season, and his 67 combined tackles are far and away the most on the team. He leads the Bears in solo tackles (48) too.
"When I saw him go off the field, it's 'next guy' sort of mentality," said Nick Kwiatkoski, Trevathan's backup. "I didn't know the extent of it, whether he was going to come back, so it's just make one play."Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.