Claypool on the Mend, Kevin Warren and Bears President and CEO Job, and Other Bears Bullets

Happy Friday, everyone! We’re just a day away from saying goodbye to 2022, but first, we’ve got to get through one more work day before a weekend of sports and good times with our families and friends, which will hopefully be significantly more enjoyable than last night’s Thursday Night Football matchup between the Cowboys and Titans.

  • The Cowboys invaded Nashville last night in what turned out to be a clunker in the final TNF matchup of the season. No Derrick Henry, no Tony Pollard, and really no reason to watch as the Titans essentially forfeited this game and placed all their chips in the center of the table in their Week 18 matchup against the Jaguars.
  • Dak Prescott threw a pair of interceptions for the Cowboys but turned out a decent performance with 29 completions on 41 attempts, 282 yards, and a couple of touchdowns as the Cowboys cruised to a 27-13 win over the Titans.
  • Oh, and Josh Dobbs made his first NFL start after six seasons in the league, and he threw his first touchdown in the third quarter!
  • The Bears got some good news on the injury front on Thursday, getting back Chase Claypool and Equanimeous St. Brown. Claypool practiced (in a non-walk-through) for the first time since December 4 (knee), and ESB returned to practice but is still in concussion protocol and has not been cleared to play on Sunday yet.
  • On the offensive line, Teven Jenkins was again a full participant and is ready to rock and roll against the Lions. Cody Whitehair went from limited to a full participant on Thursday (knee).
  • The story of the day for the Bears on Thursday didn’t involve Justin Fields or anything on the field but was equally (maybe more?) essential to the franchise’s future. ESPN’s Pete Thamel broke the news regarding the search for a successor to Ted Phillips as the next President and CEO of the Bears by naming Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren as a “strong candidate” to succeed Phillips when the long-time Bears executive retires after the season.
  • My initial thought on this news: sounds fantastic! Warren took some heat during his tenure as the Big Ten Commissioner for his handling of the conference during the COVID-19 pandemic, but he’s since done some great things for the conference and has an NFL track record that seems to line up just right with the Bears plans. While working as the Chief Operating Officer for the Vikings, Warren was instrumental in Minnesota constructing U.S. Bank Stadium. The Bears have 326 acres of land to build on in suburban Arlington Heights, so having a guy with experience building the stadium that most people compare as something the Bears could create is a great plan.
  • The Bears released a statement on the report shortly after:
  • “Warren is one of the final candidates in the Bears’ search for the team’s next president/CEO and remains engaged after a lengthy search, with sources telling ESPN that he’s a serious enough candidate that he interviewed in person.”

  • As did the Big Ten:
  • It was also reported later in the afternoon over at The Athletic that Chicago Cubs executive Colin Faulkner was interviewed for the same position twice. Faulkner is the Cubs’ Vice President of Sales and Marketing and husband of the Blackhawks President of Business Operations, Jaime Faulkner. Faulkner seems to be a candidate, but nothing about the report at The Athletic makes me feel like he’s a favorite or even close to Kevin Warren. It seemed more like a “hey, they also interviewed this guy with local ties” type of nugget of information in a report more geared toward laying out the case for Warren.
  • Well, given what we know now, which isn’t much, Warren seems like a fine candidate. So we’ll see how things shake out.
  • Hey! In happier news, our friend Luis penned something this morning! Lu isn’t quite ready to be back in the saddle yet, but he had some football thoughts, and he put them down on the figurative paper that is this space. So, please give it a read this morning!
  • Everyone loves Justin Fields!
  • This is pretty spot on as far as how a phone call between Jim Irsay and Jim Harbaugh might go this offseason:
  • The Blackhawks stink right now, but if you’ve been following along with Tab’s coverage of the World Juniors, you’ll have no problem understanding why it’s good that they stink this season.
  • More on that:
  • No Trey Mancini for the Cubs?
  • written by

    Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

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