Part of me thought it was odd when Chicago Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus said he didn’t have an issue with the team’s effort during the Week 1 loss to the Green Bay Packers. For someone who pounds the table preaching about the H.I.T.S. principle, it sure felt weird to hear Eberflus take that stance when there were many, very-obvious instances in which the proper effort wasn’t being put out by some key players.
Two days later, Eberflus appears to has changed his tune. And that should have wide receiver Chase Claypool on high alert:
Dangling the possibility of a healthy scratch for Claypool (specifically after being asked about his efforts on Sunday) is one heck of an eye-opener. Cutting Claypool after his Week 1 showing was never a realistic option, but having him grab some bench to sit and think about what he did (or didn’t do) is a potential power move. I’m into it. Sure, it could backfire. But it could also light a fire under a player like Claypool (not that he should need that in a contract year…).
Why is Chase Claypool on the verge of a benching?
In case you missed it, this is why Claypool is at risk of losing playing time:
If Claypool put as much effort in blocking as he did in flopping then he wouldn’t be in this precarious position. Instead, we’re entering Week 2 of the 2023 NFL season and one of the Bears’ biggest wild cards is at risk of losing a chunk of playing time. This is not how anyone would’ve scripted it.
What makes this all the more frustrating is that Claypool was saying all the right things this offseason. Claypool began the summer promising a “night and day difference” from last year. And when he was healthy during training camp, Claypool was practicing hard and looking like the kind of player on the cusp of a breakthrough season. After an angst-filled offseason, I was ready to hit the reset button and give Claypool a clean slate going into 2023. But I suppose this might be my reminder that not everyone is worthy of receiving the benefit of the doubt and a shot to get right. I suppose Claypool can get his act together, move forward, and be better. I’ll be curious to see how Claypool reacts now that he has been officially put on notice.