Bears risers and fallers after blowout loss to Jets originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
It was no secret that the Bears had a challenge in Week 12 when Justin Fields was ruled out with a shoulder injury. It’s doubtful anyone expected the game to be that ugly though. Other than an early burst, the offense was ineffective with Trevor Siemian under center. Their depleted defense struggled to make stops. The Bears ended up losing by three scores. Still, some guys had good games.
Byron Pringle was on “What is it that you do here?” watch after being limited to only one catch for 12 yards in his two games since returning from injury. Pringle showed exactly what he can do in the first quarter, as he took a pass that looked destined to be a Siemian interception in the end zone and turned it into a touchdown. Pringle’s score was an impressive contested catch that briefly gave the Bears the lead. It was only one play, but it was a big one, and it was progress for a guy who hasn’t made much of an impact this season.
When the Bears promoted Evan from the practice squad to the active roster, the assumption was he’d act as the No. 3 running back behind David Montgomery and Trestan Ebner. But when Montgomery needed a blow in the first quarter, it was Evans who came into the game. Evans immediately showed why coaches gave him the nod over Ebner, as he took a short pass and turned it into a 33-yard gain to set up a Cairo Santos field goal. Evans also carried the ball nine times for 34 yards, and gave the offense some juice off the bench.
When Borom returned from a concussion injury earlier this month, he did not return to the starting lineup. Riley Reiff played well enough at right tackle while Borom was sidelined, so he held onto the right tackle job. Borom got his second chance on Sunday though, when Reiff suffered an injury of his own. Unfortunately for Borom, he struggled in a couple of key moments, which ruined several plays. The worst was a missed assignment on a 3rd-and-3 play when Borom decided to double-team Teven Jenkins’ man instead of taking on his own. The result was a free rusher and a Siemian sack.
Since the Bears added some more receivers to their lineup, like Chase Claypool, Mooney has had better success getting open and scoring touchdowns. He took a step back on Sunday. Siemian targeted seven different receivers in the first half, and Mooney was not among them. Siemian has taken very few first team reps this season, so a lack of rapport explains some of the lack of production, but not all of it. Mooney went down in the second half with an ankle injury and did not return, adding injury to insult.
The Bears entered this game banged up, without Justin Fields, Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker. Things got much, much worse as the team battled both the rain and the infamous turf at MetLife Stadium. We’ve already discussed the Mooney and Reiff injuries. Eddie Jackson also went down with a non-contact injury on a Garrett Wilson touchdown. Jackson was carted off the field and was ruled out of the game almost immediately, which is never a good sign. Backup safety Dane Cruikshank went down and never returned, too. Later in the game, both Claypool and Equanimeous St. Brown limped off the field on separate plays. Sunday was almost a worst-case scenario for the Bears, and if they’re not able to get some good injury news next week they’ll have a tough time against the Packers.
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