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LAKE FOREST — The bye week was supposed to give the Bears time to come back healthy for the last four games of the regular season.
Well, it hasn’t worked out quite that way.
On Friday, Chase Claypool was ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Eagles due to the knee injury he sustained in the Week 13 loss to the Packers.
Claypool injured his knee after catching and then fumbling a pass from Justin Fields over the middle of the field in the second quarter. The fourth-year wide receiver played 33 offensive snaps in the game (63.5%) and he was on the final offensive drive that ended in an interception.
“Yeah, yeah it’s the same thing. He’s just rehabbing it, getting better,” Bears coach Matt Eberflus said. “Not where we need it to be for this week, but we’re hopeful for coming up here soon. That’s where it is right now.”
Eberflus also said he expects Claypool to play again this season.
Also, listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report was N’Keal Harry (back). Harry has been a full participant in the last three practices.
“We’re hopeful that he keeps progressing and does a good job and can be ready for the game,” Eberflus said. “Questionable I think is 50 percent, or 51 and a half percent or something like that. We’re hopeful he makes it.”
The injuries to the wide receiver position could open more opportunities for third-round draft pick Velus Jones Jr. His 15 offensive snaps against the Cowboys in Week 8 was his highest total. Against the Packers and Jets, he was on the field for just 12 offensive snaps.
“Improvement. I think he’s improving in terms of his alignment, assignment, getting the plays down, running the routes the correct way, the adjustments, knowing how to adjust the routes when needed,” Ebeflus said about Jones. “And he’s improving. He’s getting better. We can see him — time on task has been really good for him. He’s been really focused in on his job and he’s getting better. So we’re excited about where he’s going to go for the next four weeks.”
The Bears will need all the healthy and capable wide receivers they can get on Sunday against the Eagles. Philadelphia’s defense is currently allowing just 178.7 passing yards per game – the lowest in the NFL.
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