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Chicago Bears left tackle Braxton Jones set to return to practice

Nicholas Moreano Avatar
October 25, 2023

LAKE FOREST — The Bears have returned to Halas Hall to begin their prep for a primetime matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on Sunday Night Football.

Here are some of the top takeaways from Bears coach Matt Eberflus’ Wednesday press conference.

Injury updates

Starting with Justin Fields, there is no update on the Bears’ No. 1 quarterback. Eberflus mentioned that Fields is still working with trainers and is progressing, but Fields remains week-to-week with his right dislocated thumb.

Left tackle Braxton Jones and defensive end Khalid Kareem returned to practice.

Here is what Eberflus will be monitoring with Jones and his neck injury.

“Just functionality,” Eberflus said. “Is he functional in terms of his movements and what he’s done in terms of conditioning, that would be the second thing. Him working through it. When he feels like he’s ready and the trainers say that he’s good to go, we look at him as coaches, we’ll give him the green light. But I don’t know when that’s going to be. He’s got 21 days to figure that out. Hopefully, it’s sooner rather than later. “

As for Eddie Jackson, he was limited in Wednesday’s practice with the foot injury, and the team will have to wait and see if he improves throughout the week.

Rookie running back Roschon Johnson returned to practice, but he still has not cleared the concussion protocol.

“During the concussion protocol, they have these levels — with good reason — and he’s just gotta get one more hurdle today,” Eberflus said.

Darnell Wright went into last Sunday’s game against the Raiders with a hurt shoulder, and it showed throughout the game. On some snaps, Wright was basically only using his right arm to engage with opposing rushers.

“Yeah, he just worked through it,” Eberflus said. “I commend him for doing that. He was in some pain there and worked through it during the course of the day. He pushed through it. I know it didn’t look, for him, as well as he wanted it to, at times, but again, he’s working through that this week and we’ll see where he is. I just commend him for gutting it through. Being a young guy like that going against the pass rusher (Maxx Crosby) he was going against, my hat’s off to him.”

Game plan for Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa

The Bears’ didn’t want Maxx Crosby to wreak their offensive game plan, so they devised an offensive attack to mitigate his overall impact.

This week against the Chargers doesn’t get any easier with Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa. Mack has seven sacks while Bosa has three, and then add Morgan Fox’s five and you have a front that knows how to bring down quarterbacks.

Even though the Bears found a blueprint that worked against Crosby, it doesn’t appear the offense can copy and paste that same plan this week against the Chargers.

“There’s a different structure a little bit this week,” Eberflus said. “It’s the same stuff but a different structure, so you got to handle it a little bit differently. You got to be ready for those types of things. But it’s a little bit different.”

Trade deadline approaching

The NFL trade deadline is less than a week away.

General manager Ryan Poles was active last year, trading away veteran defensive players in Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn. In Poles’ second season as the GM, he has some players who are on their last year of the their rookie contracts: Jaylon Johnson and Darnell Mooney.

Johnson is coming off a two-interception performance against the Raiders. Mooney, on the other hand, is still looking to have his first breakout game of the season.

Here is what Eberflus said the method will be for this NFL trade deadline.

“Just looking, communicating,” Eberflus said. “He’ll (Poles) have me look at different players and then we’ll go from there and then just see where it is if wehave a viable option.”

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