EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Bears’ 31-10 blowout loss to the Jets at MetLife Stadium wasn’t just embarrassing, it came with a price.
The price was the health of two of the Bears’ best players: Darnell Mooney and Eddie Jackson were both forced to exit the game due to injuries.
The news on Mooney late Sunday night was grim. Several outlets reported that Mooney tore ligaments in his ankle and will miss the season’s final five games. The Bears’ top receiver was injured on a David Montgomery run early in the third quarter. Mooney’s left ankle was rolled up on the play and he needed assistance to reach the locker room.
Jackson went down on a non-contact injury late in the first half. The Jets capitalized on Jackson’s injury and scored on a 54-yard touchdown to Garrett Wilson while the safety was on the ground in the middle of the field.
After hobbling to get checked out in the medical tent, Jackson was carted to the locker room. Jackson’s left foot was in a boot after the game.
With Mooney potentially done for the season and Jackson also facing an uncertain future, it’s tough to see the Bears winning any more games. With matchups against Green Bay, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Detroit and Minnesota, the Bears could easily end the year with a 10-game losing streak.
For a team that already has plenty of issues, it won’t help not having their leading receiver and turnover creator.
And realistically, even if Jackson and Mooney were healthy and playing their best football, the Bears would still have their hands full with each of the remaining opponents.
If there is any silver lining, the injuries do force other players to step up. Elijah Hicks played in Jackson’s spot and will gain valuable experience in his rookie season. The entire receiving corps gets more opportunities with Justin Fields whenever he returns and the Bears need to see who they can actually trust from that room.
Chase Claypool had a nice 31-yard reception against Sauce Gardner in the loss against the Jets, and Byron Pringle caught a touchdown. Both were positives and need to continue for the final five games.
The injuries could also have a positive impact the Bears’ draft positioning. Right now, the Bears own the No. 2 overall pick, while the Houston Texans are first with their 1-9-1 record. A top selection like that can easily alter a franchise and be viewed as an immediate contributor
As the injuries and losses continue to pile up, it’s OK to think about that possibility right now.
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