LAKE FOREST — With 1:29 remaining in the game, Justin Fields and the Bears offense faced a fourth-and-10 on their own 42-yard line down by three points to the Dolphins.
Fields had four pass catchers to his left and Equanimeous St. Brown lined up just outside the left hash mark on the line of scrimmage. Cornerback Xavien Howard lined up opposite of Brown and jammed him immediately after the snap. Brown worked his way upfield and began to slightly separate when he got to the opposite hash mark. Fields began to climb the pocket and then moved to his right to avoid pressure. Brown was four yards past the first down marker and open to make a play.
Fields threw the ball and it bounced off Brown’s chest. He immediately put his hands on his face mask while he was laying on the ground. Three kneel downs later the Dolphins won the game 35-32.
Brown said in a game preview with The 33rd Team that he “couldn’t sleep” later that night because of the mistake. I asked him about the play on Thursday in the open locker room.
Through nine games with the Bears, Brown has 11 receptions for 164 yards and one receiving touchdown, which happened in the home opener over the 49ers. He also has been a key contributor in the run game with his downfield blocking.
Bears coach Matt Eberflus named Brown an honorary captain ahead of the Week 8 matchup against the Cowboys.
“Honorary captain for this week is EQ for Dallas, so excited for him,” Eberflus said. “He’s certainly deserving of that. He’s been a consummate pro for us. Just watch how he blocks, he’s a great point of attack blocker, and does everything we ask, so we’re excited for him for that opportunity.”
For this Bears offense to continue making strides in the passing game, the unit will need all the playmakers to elevate their level of play.
Brown may have lost some sleep after his drop, but he won’t let that mistake define him and is looking forward to his next opportunity to make a play when his team needs it.
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