With the Bears returning from their Week 14 bye, the team will also be getting back some key players on defense.
On Monday morning, Bears coach Matt Eberflus told WBBM Newsradio 780 that rookies Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker cleared concussion protocol.
The second-round draft picks missed the last two games against the Jets and Packers due to concussions they sustained in the loss to the Falcons. Brisker only missed two defensive snaps against Atlanta while Gordon only played on 70.9% of the defensive plays.
With Gordon and Brisker sidelined, Jaylon Jones, Elijah Hicks, Josh Blackwell and DeAndre Houston-Carson were forced to step up to fill the voids left in the defense. Against the Packers, despite losing 28-19, the backup secondary actually held its own against Aaron Rodgers.
But Gordon and Brisker return for the Bears’ final four games – which will feature opponents with offenses that have plenty of dangerous playmakers.
- First up is the Eagles (12-1) and their tandem of A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, who have combined for 1,795 yards, 197 receptions and 15 touchdowns. Along with Philadelphia’s receiving threats, the two rookies will have their open-field tackling put to the test against Miles Sanders and Jalen Hurt – who is the third leading rusher among quarterbacks.
- Then the Bears will stay at Soldier Field and host the Bills (10-3). Buffalo is led by Stefon Diggs’ 94 catches for 1,239 yards and 10 touchdowns. Gabe Davis and Isaiah McKenzie have combined for another 76 receptions, 1,076 yards and 10 touchdowns.
- After two-straight home games, the Bears will go on the road and face the Lions (6-7). Amon-Ra St. Brown has 82 receptions, 898 yards and six touchdowns on the season and he caught 10 passes for 119 yards in the first meeting against Chicago. Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond also add 68 receptions, 828 yards and three touchdowns.
- Finally, the Bears will close out their 2022 campaign against the Vikings (10-3), who have arguably the best receiver in football right now: Justin Jefferson. The third-year pro has 99 receptions for 1,500 yards and six touchdowns this season and went for 154 yards on 13 catches against Chicago in Week 5. Jefferson has more yards and receptions than all of the Bears’ receivers combined – 1275 yards and 97 receptions.
Regardless of the final outcomes in these games, this final stretch of the season will be a challenge for Gordon and Brisker, but these matchups should help their growth as players as they end their rookie season.