The Bears’ offensive line went through its first on-field work directly preparing the Kansas City Chiefs next Sunday with both Matt Slauson and rookie Hroniss Grasu both taking snaps as the No. 1 center.
Not surprisingly, coach John Fox demurred from giving any indication which way the job would fall on game day.
Slauson handled the position well last Sunday after Will Montgomery was lost for the year with a broken leg. Grasu has yet to be active for an NFL regular season game, but “like everywhere: who plays the best, who practices the best,” Fox said. “They earn it. They earn their opportunities, they earn their reps, they earn whether they start or don’t start. We have all this week to look at that.”
What the Bears already don’t have all this week to look at are two other members of the nicked-up position group. Left tackle Jermon Bushrod continues to miss practice with the effects of a concussion and a shoulder injury and Patrick Omameh, who moved in at left guard when Slauson went to center, did not practice because of an ankle injury suffered in the game.
Right tackle Kyle Long was limited in practice with back and ankle soreness. Jay Cutler was limited with his hamstring injury.
Wide receivers and defensive backs weren’t in a whole lot better shape. Alshon Jeffery continues to do work on the side and be limited in practice with an injured hamstring while Eddie Royal (ankle) did not practice at all.
Nickel corner Sherrick McManis (hamstring) joined safety Antrel Rolle (ankle) sitting out practice while cornerback Alan Ball (groin) was limited after being active but held out of the Oakland game.
Defensive linemen Jeremiah Ratliff (ankle) and Will Sutton (elbow) were limited, as was punter Pat O’Donnell (knee).
The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.
They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.
The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.
The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.
The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.
The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.
The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.
Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.
0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?
4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go?
5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami
7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?
10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game
11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?
13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making
17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?
18:00– Bears need to run the ball more
21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets
Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.