A Bears offense that could use as much help as it can get could be without two pass-catching starters on Thursday.
Tight end Ben Braunecker and wide receiver Taylor Gabriel both popped up on Monday’s injury report with concussions. And had the team held an actual practice – not just a walk-through – both would have shown up on the injury report as non-participants. Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy met with the media at Halas Hall on Tuesday, and among the topics he discussed, Nagy offered an update as to the status of both of those players. Unfortunately, the news isn’t all that appetizing.
Here it is:
Matt Nagy says that Ben Braunecker and Taylor Gabriel said it’s “probably a stretch” that they’ll play Thursday in Detroit. They “self reported” their concussions to the #Bears.
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) November 26, 2019
Nagy saying it is “a stretch” to think Braunecker and Gabriel will be ready to play against the Lions on Thanksgiving is virtually an admission the Bears will be short-handed on Thursday.
But credit Braunecker and Gabriel for self-reporting their concussions, because head injuries aren’t to be taken lightly. This especially goes for Gabriel, who missed two games earlier in the year due to a concussion that happened in Week 3 against Washington, missed a game in 2017 while with the Falcons because of a concussion, and missed two games (and spent time on the injury report leading up to a third game) in 2016 while with the Browns due to a concussion.
So since coming into the league in 2015, Gabriel has at least four documented concussions, which is concerning (to say the least).
The Bears will likely turn to Javon Wims to start for Gabriel, while piecing together a tight ends mix of J.P. Holtz, Bradley Sowell, and Jesper Horsted to chip in while Braunecker is out. And considering Nagy’s update regarding his starters’ concussions, the expectation should be not to expect either player to practice this week.