Bears

NFL suspends Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman for four games

NFL suspends Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman for four games

For the second straight week, a Bears player has been suspended by the NFL for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Alshon Jeffery was slapped with the punishment last week and now linebacker Jerrell Freeman will miss the next four games. 

Freeman will be sidelined until Week 16, missing the Bears' games against the Tennessee Titans (Nov. 27), San Francisco 49ers (Dec. 4), Detroit Lions (Dec. 11) and Green Bay Packers (Dec. 18).

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Bears head coach John Fox reacted to the news during his press conference Monday:

Freeman released a statement on Twitter, apologizing for any embarassment this incident has caused the organization, his coaches, teammates and fans:

Freeman — in his first season with the Bears after signing as a free agent — has formed a dynamic tandem with Danny Trevethan at inside linebacker. The 30-year-old has recorded 91 tackles (69 solo) along with six tackles for a loss and three passes deflected.

This is just another blow to a Bears team that lost Zach Miller for the season with a foot injury and rookie outside linebacker Leonard Floyd may have the same fate after suffering a neck injury Sunday.

The Bears will be without Jeffery for another three games while Pro Bowl guards Kyle Long (out for the season) and Josh Sitton are also sidelined.

Watch: Bears celebrate beating Packers, winning the NFC North at "Club Dub"

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USA TODAY

Watch: Bears celebrate beating Packers, winning the NFC North at "Club Dub"

Celebrations were in order for the Bears following their 24-17 victory over the Packers on Sunday. Not only did the win clinch the NFC North championship for the Bears, but it also essentially squashed any playoff hopes held by the Packers.

As they do after every win, the Bears celebrated at "Club Dub" (located in their locker room) after the game. Based on a video posted on the team's official Twitter account, the team sure knows how to win and have fun doing so. Take a look:

It's lit, as quarterback Mitchell Trubisky would say. NBC Sports Chicago's Bears beat writer J. J. Stankevitz offered a reaction likely shared by most Bears fans.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears and stream the ‘Football Aftershow’ easily on your device.

Rams lose and Bears are closer to a first-round bye in the playoffs

Rams lose and Bears are closer to a first-round bye in the playoffs

The Bears are NFC North Champions and now one game closer to a first-round bye in the playoffs after the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Los Angeles Rams.

The Rams are still one game ahead of the Bears in the standings, but if they lose one game and the Bears win out they’ll be tied at 12-4. The Bears would win the tie-breaker in head-to-head record because the Bears beat the Rams last week on Sunday night. 

Unfortunately the Rams have a favorable remaining schedule, playing the 4-10 San Francisco 49ers and the 3-11 Arizona Cardinals. The Bears also play the 49ers, but close the season on the road against the 7-6-1 Minnesota Vikings, who are playing for their playoff lives. The Vikings are barely ahead of the 7-7 Eagles and Washington Redskins for the final playoff spot.

And the Bears two remaining games are on the road, while the Rams have one more home contest.

The Bears could really use that first-round bye. If the playoffs were to start now, the Bears would be playing the Vikings in back-to-back games in Week 17 and the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. Three match ups against one team in a single season would be difficult. Especially, beating a team three times in a single season.

Home-field advantage at Soldier Field in the Divisional Round would do wonders for the Bears and their chances of reaching the NFC Championship game. The weather in Chicago is a great equalizer, particularly to the high-powered offenses of dome or warm weather teams.

The Rams are trending in the wrong direction, while the Bears are trending in the right direction. It could happen.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears and stream the ‘Football Aftershow’ easily on your device.