Bears

Denver vs. Chicago: Bears could face depleted Broncos team in Week 2

Denver vs. Chicago: Bears could face depleted Broncos team in Week 2

The Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos released their first injury updates of Week 2, and if Wednesday's practice report is any indication of who will play Sunday, the Bears will have a major advantage on both sides of the ball.

You can check out the Bears' injury report here.

The Broncos may be without starting right tackle Ja'Wuan James and nickel cornerback Bryce Callahan. James is battling a knee injury while Callahan has an ailing foot. Neither player practiced Wednesday.

In addition to James and Callahan, LB Todd Davis (calf) and OG Ron Leary (quad) were limited participants. Both Leary and Davis are starters when healthy.

James played just 10 snaps before injuring his knee in Week 1 against the Raiders; Callahan was inactive.

Both players signed lucrative contracts with Denver this offseason. James was inked to a four-year, $51 million deal while Callahan, who broke out with the Bears in 2018, signed for three years and $21 million.

If James is unable to play, the Broncos will turn to the former undrafted free agent from UMass, Elijah Wilkinson, who started seven games last season.

His assignment? Khalil Mack.

Yeah, advantage Bears.

Week 3 injury report: Eddy Pineiro questionable

Week 3 injury report: Eddy Pineiro questionable

It appears the Bears will face a little more uncertainty in Monday night's contest with the Redskins than originally anticipated. The team released an updated Week 3 injury report Saturday that lists four key players -- Trey Burton (groin), Eddie Jackson (shoulder/knee), Kyle Long (hip) and, in a late-week turn of events, Eddy Pineiro (knee) -- as questionable:

Eddie Goldman, who was limited in practice on Thursday with an oblique injury, was a full participant Friday and Saturday and does not have an injury designation in the most recent report.

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Eddy Pineiro’s leg injury throws Bears’ kicking status into flux, again

Eddy Pineiro’s leg injury throws Bears’ kicking status into flux, again

Bears kicker Eddy Pineiro was a surprise addition to the team’s injury report Saturday afternoon, and is officially listed as questionable for Monday night’s game against Washington with a right leg injury.

Coach Matt Nagy sounded optimistic the injury is “minor” in nature, and said despite feeling some pain Pineiro did kick in practice on Saturday. But the mere inclusion of him on the injury report raises concerns about the Bears’ kicking situation only six days after it appeared to have been solved with Pineiro’s game-winning 53-yard kick against the Denver Broncos.

“I think what we’ve got to do as these days go by let’s just see where he’s at,” Nagy said. “I’m going to be on the cautious side with him and we’ll just kind of feel out the pain part and if it’s something that’s going to affect him, then we’ll have a decision to make. If not — hopefully he’ll be okay.”

Nagy said the injury occurred in the weight room at Halas Hall, and stressed the cautious approach he and the Bears’ training staff is taking to Pineiro. And the Bears’ coach consistently presented an optimistic outlook for Pineiro when answering questions from the media on Saturday.

Still, if Pineiro cannot play on Monday, the Bears will be in a bind. Punter Pat O’Donnell has never attempted a field goal in his NFL or college career, though Nagy did say O’Donnell “has some experience.” The most recent memory of O’Donnell working on field goals came during halftime of a loss to the San Francisco 49ers in 2017, when then-kicker Cairo Santos was hurt, though he didn’t attempt a kick in the second half of that contest. 

“I don’t want to rush to judgment yet,” Nagy said. “That’s not where we’re at. I really do think that we’ll be okay. We just want to make sure that we’re doing everything the right way with him, with his pain, and we’ve got to communicate with him, see how he feels, and it’s probably going to be one of those deals where in a couple days where he’s at and we’ve got to make a decision.”

So all of a sudden, Pineiro’s status will be critical to monitor in the hours leading up to Monday night’s game (the Bears have to submit inactive players 90 minutes before kickoff). If Pineiro is unable to play, will the Bears actually use O’Donnell for field goals? Or will Nagy lean into his aggressive nature and try to convert fourth downs and two-point conversions?

It feels disappointing for the Bears to even have to entertain these questions at this point. If Nagy’s optimism proves to be founded, the Bears won’t have an issue Monday night. But if they do, it’ll put plenty of pressure on a sputtering offense to make sure a game against a winless team doesn’t come down to another kick.

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