A week ago today, Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus told reporters there wren’t major injury updates to report on after the team’s Week 11 loss to the Detroit Lions. Unfortunately, one player’s injury from the previous week will keep him out while another’s late-in-the-week issue will keep him on the sidelines this week.
Chicago Bears running back D’Onta Foreman and cornerback Tyrique Stevenson are OUT for the team’s Monday Night Football game against the Minnesota Vikings. Reserve offensive lineman Larry Borom will also miss the Monday night affair at US Bank Stadium. Foreman and Borom were originally listed as doubtful for Saturday’s injury report. Meanwhile, Stevenson was questionable to play in the Vikings game. But in the end, all three are out of action. More on that here from the Bears.
Bears depth to be tested in primetime
Losing these players for this week puts different thoughts in my brain. Mostly, my brain goes to a place that leads me to think about who can step up with an unexpected newfound opportunity.
For instance, it’ll stink not having Tyrique Stevenson in the secondary today. Sure, the Vikings will likely be without stud receiver Justin Jefferson. That should make things easier in the passing game. At a minimum, not having to face Jefferson should make for an easier night at the office for Bears defensive backs. But it’s not like it will be a walk in the park. Even still … I’d rather see a healthy Stevenson out there on the field. Especially since he is coming off his best game of the year (which featured his first interception as a pro).
Watching Stevenson’s in-season development has been one of my favorite things to follow. Stevenson finishing his rookie year song is near the top of my 2023 wish list. But, hey, maybe this opens the door for fellow rookie cornerback Terell Smith. I’ll also be curious to see if this means Kyler Gordon will slide outside to the boundary. The Bears’ defensive coaches have some options they can play with — and potentially throw Vikings quarterback Josh Dobbs for a loop.
Missing D’Onta Foreman for a week shouldn’t be too costly for the Bears. Heck, this *SHOULD* nudge them toward giving rookie running back Roschon Johnson the workload Foreman was carrying. This isn’t to say that I haven’t enjoyed watching Foreman run the ball. To the contrary! I truly enjoy Foreman’s bruising style. HOWEVER, with the Bears’ playoff odds being as long as they are, my football brain is in a space where I’d rather see the rookie (Roschon) develop than the veteran (Foreman) get carries. Let the kids play!
I’m always rooting for a healthy game from Chicago’s offensive line. And I’ll be doing so again tonight for obvious reasons. Firstly, I want to see quarterback Justin Fields get a fair shot to strut his stuff behind the best offensive line the Bears have put out in front of him this year. But also, I don’t want the Bears to have to dive deep into their bench. Being without Borom means the Bears will be without their top swing tackle option. It isn’t a huge deal. But it also isn’t inconsequential.
Maybe this puts Cody Whitehair in a spot to fill that role. What’s the worst thing that could happen in that role? Since the Bears aren’t going to have him play center, they should keep him on the ready to play in a pinch at tackle if necessary.
With these three inactives already in the books, I’ll be curious to see who is available off the bench for the Bears tonight. Stay tuned.