My aunt, my two cousins, and myself demolished a chocolate chip cheesecake that I made for Christmas. There wasn’t a crumb that was left behind for leftovers. Lesson learned: Make *TWO* cheesecakes for Christmas.
- The Bears didn’t practice on Christmas Day. But if they did, a theoretical injury report would have looked like this:
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) December 25, 2019
- Taylor Gabriel and Eddie Goldman would have been non-participants due to concussions. Gabriel hasn’t played all month. And since this is his fourth documented concussion, I would not be surprised if the Bears remained on the cautious side and kept him out of action for the season finale. Head injuries are nothing to rush back from, especially now that we have better testing— even if it isn’t perfect.
- As for Goldman, he suffered a concussion early in the game against the Chiefs. Considering his importance to the Bears’ long-term future, I can see where the Bears would keep him out of action. The same can be said for Akiem Hicks, who did not play in last weeks’ game against Kansas City and is now on the path to allow his elbow injury to heal naturally (rather than undergo surgery).
- Two offensive linemen show up on the injury report. Right tackle Bobby Massie remains sidelined with an ankle injury, while right guard Rashaad Coward pops up as a limited participant because of a knee issue. Coward left SNF early because of the knee injury and was replaced by Ted Larsen. And while my preference would have been to throw undrafted rookie Alex Bars into the lineup (to get a look at what he could bring as a possible reserve lineman next year), Larsen’s run-blocking on the right side was notable for all the right reasons and sprung David Montgomery free on some runs. If Bars hasn’t earned his way into the lineup just yet, starting Larsen (with the idea of prioritizing experience in front of Montgomery and Mitch Trubisky) wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
- But still … I want to see all of the young players who could use an extended look in the evaluation process in the lineup on Sunday in the regular-season finale against the Vikings. If that means using Bars as an extra offensive lineman, so be it. Also on my list of players I want to see in action: Riley Ridley, Kevin Toliver II, Duke Shelley. This list is shorter than previous ones because we’re already seeing young players filling in for injured starters elsewhere.
- At least Prince Amukamara would have been a full participant in Wednesday’s practice. That hamstring injury has limited Amukamara’s playing time, but at least it has allowed for Toliver to get some snaps in key moments.
- This is some collection of talent:
#NFL Players Trending Toward the 2020 Bubble, despite their contract (savings if cut):
ARZ, David Johnson (-$1.95M)
CHI, Mitchell Trubisky ($0)
JAX, Nick Foles (-$11.75M)
KC, Sammy Watkins ($14M)
LAR, Todd Gurley (-$8.4M)
LAR, Brandin Cooks (-$5M)
NYJ, Le’Veon Bell ($1.5M)
— Spotrac (@spotrac) December 26, 2019
- Signing Allen Robinson over Sammy Watkins in 2018 might turn out to be Ryan Pace’s best free agent move. Watkins still flashes big play ability from time to time, but inconsistency and injuries have continued to plague his pro career.
- Seeing that the Rams cutting Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks would put them $13.4 million deeper in the hole should serve as a reminder of what the Bears should avoid doing when it comes to the contract extensions that could be on the horizon.
- This piece of imagery from Sunday night is beautiful:
- The best thing you might have missed on Christmas Day:
- All of the holiday cheer, please:
- I’ll need to clear some time to read this:
Seven years ago, Chuck Pagano returned to work a changed football coach. Now, he's got the perspective to say that the change was forever.
The Bears DC opens up on what Christmas Eve means to him. https://t.co/CFpt3IjREn
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) December 24, 2019
- This was a neat find:
Check out this @WGNTV archive footage of the ‘93 @ChicagoBears first practice in the McBubble. It features @CoachWannstedt, @CoachJim4UM, Mike McCaskey lifting weights in slacks and a sweater, and the Fridge doing drills in a polo shirt and pants. #Bears100 #BearDown #Chicago pic.twitter.com/bWRMde5CJf
— Mike Lowe (@MikeLoweReports) December 24, 2019
- An ex-Bear has found a new home:
— Last Chance U (@LastChanceUAlum) December 24, 2019