A Favorite Thanksgiving Memory, Thankful For Fields, Turkey Day History, Zach Wilson Gets Gobbled Up in NYC, and Other Bears Bullets

Happy Thanksgiving! The folks at WGN have rounded up a list of fast-food joints and restaurants that are open today just in case your plans go sideways.

  • I doubt I’m alone in being thankful for Justin Fields. The Chicago Bears quarterback is growing into what we were hoping he’d become when then-GM Ryan Pace traded up to take the Ohio State product in the 2021 NFL Draft. We know that left (non-throwing) shoulder injury is going to throw short-term plans for a loop. But that’s small potatoes on a day like today.
  • This was an interesting tweet from Brad Biggs:
  • Fields has a history of playing through the pain. That game against Clemson in the College Football Playoff will always stick with me as a main reason that had me sold on Fields as a prospect. But this upcoming Jets game isn’t on that level of importance. And there is no reason to rush a less-than-full-strength Fields to play on Sunday.
  • For what it’s worth, I don’t think the Bears will do so. I fully expect Fields to be a limited participant at practice throughout the week and inactive on game day. At some point on Saturday, I’d wager on the team flexing Nathan Peterman onto the active roster. And when the inactives roll out around 10:30 a.m. CT, I expect to see Fields on it. Let him do the mental prep work that goes into quarterbacking, then let him rest that shoulder. We can re-evaluate his availability for next week starting next Wednesday.
  • How about 9+ minutes of a mic’d up Fields to ease any concerns:
  • Other than Fields, are there any other Bears you’re thankful for? Darnell Mooney, David Montgomery, and Khalil Herbert immediately come to mind. So does a resurgent Cole Kmet. I’m thankful the Bears are employing a fullback again. On the other side of the ball, I’m thankful for a secondary that has youth and upside (Jaquan Brisker, Kyler Gordon) and experience (Jaylon Johnson, Eddie Jackson) leading the way. And I’m thankful for a path to the No. 2 overall pick, which could be used to bolster the defensive line in the upcoming NFL Draft.
  • Ooh! I’m also thankful the Bears don’t play on Thanksgiving this year. Don’t get me wrong. Turkey Day Bears football is fun. And it allows me to participate in one of my favorite traditions, which is to have Thanksgiving the day before — giving me the runway to eat yummy leftovers and watch football all day without worrying about cooking at the same time. The Trib takes a look at the Bears’ Thanksgiving history:
  • My favorite recent Bears Thanksgiving memory was Chase Daniel torching the Lions. A few years later, Daniel signed with the Lions as a free agent — no doubt to thwart any plans of him cooking Detroit on Thanksgiving. Well played.
  • Meanwhile, we’re just one day removed from Zach Wilson’s benching by the Jets and we’re already discussing Jimmy G. Football as his full-time replacement next March:
  • Tough scene:
  • I dunno, man. It sounds pretty over to me. How do you go back to Wilson? Barring injury or extremely poor play from Mike White or Joe Flacco, it became very clear that there was a growing disconnect between Wilson and the other 52 players on the Jets’ active roster. I’m not saying Wilson can’t straighten up, fly right, and get his career back on track. It is just tough to envision him doing it with the Jets unless literally everything goes in his favor.
  • Fields is just different:
  • It’s a bummer that Lucas Patrick won’t be back this season after getting surgery on a busted toe that is taking him out of action. I don’t want to be too harsh on first-year GM Ryan Poles for his work in free agency. We all know the limitations he was dealing with, so I won’t re-hash them here. However, finding a silver lining from that free agency class is tougher than a $2 steak. Patrick was supposed to be someone the Bears could rely on as a versatile interior lineman with knowledge of OC Luke Getsy’s scheme and a stable starter on a line that needed it. Instead, Patrick was limited to seven games (five starts) of uninspiring production. The return on investment simply wasn’t there.
  • We’ll probably dive deeper into it later, but it crossed my mind yesterday: How many players on this current roster will be back starting on the offensive line next year? My gut says left guard Cody Whitehair and right guard Teven Jenkins are virtual locks. Braxton Jones could still play his way into another year as the bridge to a more sturdy and stable option at left tackle. That the Bears have already moved Larry Borom to the bench suggests the right tackle spot is an area they’ll look to upgrade next year. And that they moved Patrick to center before his injury hints at that being a spot where the Bears can bring in new talent.
  • I suppose Patrick *COULD* return next year. It’s just that I’m not all that certain about it. The Bears could cut Patrick and create $3.9 million in cap space at the cost of a $1.4825 million dead cap hit. In a hypothetical situation in which the Bears do such a move, they would be $129,205,758 under the cap (per OverTheCap.com’s estimations). Just some food for thought for this moment. We’ll dig into other potential cap clearing moves the Bears can make when we are fully invested in the offseason.
  • You’ve gotta love seeing the Bears give back to the community:
  • We can discuss any number of holes the Cubs need to fill this offseason. But I don’t think there is a more obvious need than in center field. It feels like that position has been a revolving door of “meh” since Dexter Fowler left after the 2016 season. More from Brett on the extreme obviousness of the Cubs adding a center fielder:
  • The Bulls were off to somewhat of a slow start and it led me to get my Thanksgiving prep work early, which led me to catch a very exciting fourth quarter:
  • written by

    Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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