While it's not clear how much the Bears and Javon Wims have interacted since he was kicked out of the game for fighting on Sunday afternoon, there's no mistaking how they feel about it.
"We've talked to him and told him that that's not how things go here," Matt Nagy said after the 26-23 loss. "One of Javon's strengths is his character – who he is as a person. He's since apologized, but that's not ... you don't have that. There's no part of that in this game. Again, I still haven't seen it, but from what I've heard, it's not good. That's not how we roll here. We'll be talking to him."
In case the Bears' offense had already lulled you to sleep and you missed what happened, here's a recap: in the middle of the third quarter, in a tie game, Wims ran up to New Orleans' DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson and punched him right in the helmet. Twice. There had been some jawing going on between Gardner-Johnson and Anthony Miller leading up to that, and there's good reason to believe the beef may even date back to last year's game, when Gardner-Johnson was caught on camera mocking Tarik Cohen's height. Regardless, Wims wasted no time escalating things:
Of course, he was immediately flagged for unnecessary roughness and ejected from the game. The ball was pushed back 15 yards – negating a 5-yard reception from Allen Robinson – and the Bears went from 2nd and 5 on the 36 to 2nd and 20 on their 21. On the very next play, Nick Foles' pass to Jimmy Graham was picked off by Marshon Lattimore. Seven plays later, a 39-yard field goal from Will Lutz gave the Saints a 16-13 lead.
"When you have somebody throwing punches, when you have the things that are going on right now with us, and the offense just trying to get things going — guys are fighting," Nagy said. "They're sticking together. But then you have that happen. It takes away everything that you work hard to get to and fight for, and what bothers me is we've got a lot of good guys that are doing things the right way and then it just takes it away."
Whether or not Wims addressed teammates after the game is still relatively unknown. Emotion was high after the loss – Nagy even stopped in the middle of an unrelated answer to reiterate that he was "really bothered" by the fight. He did mention an apology, but when Foles was asked about it he declined to answer, saying he was 'just being honest.' Allen Robinson – the undisputed leader of Chicago's receiving unit – had yet to speak to Wims by the time he sat down for his postgame press conference, but mentioned that he expected the two to have a conversation about it soon. Wims' job security probably isn't in as much danger as his bank account, but it wouldn't be surprising to see Riley Ridley on the active roster next week in Tennessee; the Bears simply have too many unforced errors to address without having to spend time worrying about a 4th-string wide receiver throwing hands for no apparent reason.
"But this game of football is pretty emotional right?" Akiem Hicks said. "We’ve got a lot of things going on. Extrinsic and intrinsic ... I think that I’ve lost my cool before. You know? It’s part of the game. The elite, and if you want to be elite, you have to be able to control some of those moments. You have to be able to put whatever emotion you’ve got going on and put it in a pocket. Because your team needs more.
"And knowing the character of Javon, I know that he doesn’t want to have a situation that might go sour. With a lot of respect for him, I understand that things happen and we’ll move forward."