After the first four games of the season, Khalil Mack looked like the front-runner for Defensive Player of the Year.
An ankle injury slowed down the hype train as his production came back down to Earth, but he still finished the year as one of the NFL’s top play-makers at the outside linebacker position.
His 12.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles, four pass breakups and one pick six weren’t enough to beat out Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald for the DPOY award, but Mack did earn some consideration.
Donald led the league with 20.5 sacks this year, which was 4.5 sacks more than J.J. Watt in second place. Only six players in NFL history have had more sacks in a single season than Donald did in 2018.
Watt also finished the season with more sacks, tackles for loss and forced fumbles than Mack, but he did not receive a vote for Defensive Player of the Year.
Mack’s production in Assistant Coach of the Year Vic Fangio’s defense was something Chicago hadn’t seen for nearly a decade. Even without the award to show for it, his future remains bright under new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano.
Mitchell Trubisky is using his platform to support Blackout Tuesday and the protests against racial injustice in the United States.
In the post, Trubisky concedes he will never truly understand the struggles black people experience in America, but he stands by them during this time of unrest.
“Throughout my life I’ve been blessed to share the field and locker room with countless black men,” Trubisky said in the post. “These men and teammates have become family to me. Although I could never understand what they have to experience I empathize with them and love them like brothers. I stand with my brothers and sisters in the fight against racial injustices.
“We need to do more. We must do better. Posts, tweets, and statements aren’t enough. We need to take action. We must take the steps together to make systematic changes to prevent these evil acts from occurring.
“Love is stronger than hate. Peace and Unity will overcome violence. Black Lives Matter. #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd”
Trubisky broke his social media silence to make his statement. He hadn’t posted on Instagram since Dec. 19, and besides retweeting teammates, friends and brands, he still hasn’t posted on Twitter since May 2019.
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On Monday evening, the Bears released a statement from George McCaskey regarding the recent death of George Floyd:
A week ago another unarmed African-American man died at the hands of a white police officer. We are witnessing the anger and frustration play out in protests across the nation, including Chicago. We must do more than wring our hands and hope it doesn’t happen again. As an organization, we have addressed it internally by offering unconditional support to our family of staff, coaches and players, and today Ryan Pace and Coach Nagy spent the allotted two hours of team meeting time listening to and healing together with our players and the coaching staff. Through our voice, our actions and our resources, it is our obligation to lead. We will continue to work with our player-led social justice committee to provide funding and exposure to local organizations dedicated to empowering communities that have been oppressed for far too long. We’re proud to support organizations like BUILD Chicago, I Grow Chicago, My Block, My Hood, My City, and Youth Guidance, among others, who are doing great work in these communities and we encourage fans to partner with us in supporting them. Our commitment is to continue to be an active participant in change.
Though they don't use his name specifically, it's clearly a reference to Floyd's death, as they Bears joined (most) teams across the country in issuing statements condemning the abuse of power among law enforcement officials.