Save for the chaos surrounding the will-he-or-won’t-he status of Justin Fields, things were looking good regarding the Chicago Bears injury report. But a key starter’s status is suddenly up-in-the-air just hours before kickoff.
Cornerback Tyrique Stevenson was downgraded to questionable for the Bears’ Thursday Night Football game against the Carolina Panthers. In a world where words and injury designations matter, a questionable designation from a team means the player has a 50-50 chance to play. The NFL’s official definition that comes with the questionable designation is “uncertain if player will play.” No, seriously. The league has guidelines and specifics when it comes to the injury report and terminology that comes with it. You can bone up on that here. In the meantime, we’ll circle back to Stevenson.
The Bears rookie cornerback was a full participant in practice in each of the last three practices despite popping up on the injury report with an ankle injury. To be sure, these practices were nothing more than glorified walk-throughs. So there was always room for interpretation. But in the eyes of the Bears, their estimated version of the injury report suggests the team would’ve had Stevenson practicing had the team been on a normal schedule. In other words, going from full participation to questionable is a bit of a surprise.
Stevenson’s downgrade also comes as the Bears are making last-minute roster-moves:
Bears game-day roster updates
Wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown and cornerback Josh Blackwell have been activated from injured reserve. These are roster additions we saw coming after the team cleared two roster spots with the cuts of Greg Stroman Jr. and Duron Harmon. In addition to the St. Brown and Blackwell additions, the team announced it has flexed linebacker Micah Baskerville and tight end Stephen Carlson from the practice squad and onto the active roster. This gives the Bears some linebacker and tight end depth. Maybe we’ll see the Bears run behind some more jumbo sets tonight. Hopefully, this isn’t a sign that Cole Kmet is going to take on a smaller snap share after missing Monday’s practice with a knee issue.
We’ll have more for you closer to game time. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping tabs on Tyrique Stevenson.