Bears DB shuffle continues without getting winning answers


Bears DB shuffle continues without getting winning answers

If there weren’t concerns in nearly all areas of the Bears secondary before this, there should be now. Breakdowns occurred in nearly all segments of a secondary that entered the third preseason game with multiple positions still in flux – meaning no one has played well enough to claim the starting jobs, and some could be in increased jeopardy with first cuts coming no later than Tuesday.

“We’re trying to pick a 53-man roster,” said coach John Fox. “You have to look at guys in the preseason to figure that out.”

So far the Bears have not figured it out.

Tim Jennings, a Pro Bowl cornerback with nine interceptions in 14 games as recently as 2012, with 32 consecutive starts since then, was not only out of the starting lineup on Saturday vs. the Cincinnati Bengals, but also not part of any package initially, renewing questions about his future in Chicago after a 2014 season with zero interceptions.

[MORE: Good (and bad) standouts from Bears loss to Bengals]

Jennings was replaced by Alan Ball with the No. 1 defense, and when the Bears went with three cornerbacks, Sherrick McManis was the addition, not Jennings. Jennings was turned around and lost the ball and the receiver on a 15-yard completion to A.J. Green in the second quarter. Jennings was among a cluster of defenders beaten for a 31-yard TD pass to Marvin Jones, but Jennings was simply one of a crowd of Bears failing to make the play.

Terrance Mitchell, with an interception in last week’s win over the Indianapolis Colts, was given some playing with the No. 1 defense, stayed on into the fourth quarter and was credited with a forced fumble and recovery in the fourth period.

Antrel Rolle was late on several assignments resulting in sizeable gains in the first half. He failed to come up in run support on a 26-yard run by Jeremy Hill in the second quarter.

Brock Vereen was late breaking up and missed a one-on-tackle of running back Jeremy Hill late in the first half after Rolle crashed down inside on the play and forced Hill to bounce outside.

Veteran Tracy Porter, also getting increased play at cornerback, was spared the embarrassment of being beaten for a deep completion in the second quarter when a holding call on the Cincinnati offensive line nullified the play.

Power Ranking Roundup: The bye week didn't do the Bears any favors

USA Today

Power Ranking Roundup: The bye week didn't do the Bears any favors

The Bears didn't play last week, but did that stop them from falling in Power Rankings across The Web? It did not! Going into the bye on a loss never fails to stoke the panic. Here's what they're saying: 

NBC Sports Chicago -- #16
Their power rankings slide is because of how well other teams performed Sunday; Chicago doesn't feel like a top-15 team when compared to the rest of the NFL. -- #9
The Bears do have a player who's good at all that stuff when given a chance -- that would be running back Tarik Cohen, who already had nine such "big plays" through five games a year ago. In 2019? He has just one, despite being healthy and available each week. Bears coach Matt Nagy needs to get Cohen involved.

ESPN -- #16
Their vertical passing attack is limited with Mitchell Trubisky or Chase Daniel at quarterback. The offense has been equally ineffective on the ground. Chicago has gained eight or more rushing yards on just 10 running plays through five games.

Bleacher Report -- #10
Chicago had best make good use of this week off and get things figured out. Four of the team's next five games after the bye are against teams that made the postseason a year ago, including trips to face the Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Rams.

Sports Illustrated -- #17
A Vikings win this week and strong starts from the Lions and Packers suddenly raises the stake Sunday’s game against the Saints. Unfortunately, New Orleans has a similarly great defense and a much better offense than the Bears.

CBS Sports -- #13
They come off the bye looking to generate more on offense. But it was the defense that also had some issues in London. That unit needs to pick it up as well.

USA Today -- #14
Coming out of bye, club currently just outside playoff picture hits brutal stretch with just two of final 11 opponents currently below .500.

Yahoo Sports -- #11
The Bears have only two games left against teams who are currently under .500. They face the Chargers and Giants, who are both 2-4 and not totally incapable. If the Bears make it back to the playoffs, it’ll be impressive.

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Bears reportedly expect Akiem Hicks to come off injured reserve in eight weeks

Bears reportedly expect Akiem Hicks to come off injured reserve in eight weeks

The Bears expect to activate Akiem Hicks off injured reserve as soon as they can — which would be for their Week 15 game against the Green Bay Packers — according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter:

The NFL requires players placed on injured reserve to spend eight weeks on it before they can be activated. While losing Hicks for half the season certainly presents a significant challenge to the Bears’ defense, that he does not need surgery and is expected to return in 2019 is at least a silver lining. 

The Bears officially placed Hicks on injured reserve Tuesday and promoted offensive lineman Alex Bars from their practice squad. 

While Hicks won’t be on the field for a while, he will be present around Halas Hall and Soldier Field as the Bears, defensive line coach Jay Rodgers said. 

“He’s going to be with us throughout the gameplanning, he’s going to be with us on game day, he’s going to be on the sidelines, all those kinds of things,” Rodgers said. “You’re going to feel the presence of him on the sideline and everything we do from here to whenever that is.”