Bears News: Matt Eberflus provides injury updates, analysis of young rookies

Bears News: Matt Eberflus provides injury updates, analysis of young rookies

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO - In order to make any kind of playoff run, Chicago must win out. That starts with taking on the Detroit Lions in this rematch this Sunday (Noon / FOX). However, that is hard to do when you are going into the game potentially short three wide receivers in rookie Tyler Scott, Velus Jones and former Green Bay Packers receiver Equanimeous St. Brown

“Tyler Scott had some hamstring tightness. We just pulled him out of practice today for that, and we’ll evaluate him tomorrow and see where he is,” head coach Matt Eberflus said. “Velus Jones has an illness, and (St. Brown) … he’s going to be week-to-week. He has a pec. So, we’ll see where that is.”

Another crucial element is winning the turnover battle. While that did not pay off last time against the Lions as Chicago won the turnover battle by three, limiting quarterback Justin Fields’ turnovers and particularly his fumbles as any critical mistake from Fields could shift this game into the Lions’ favor.

“The turnovers, those are the things that you have to eliminate. Perfect game for a quarterback, any quarterback, is zero turnovers and that’s protecting the football, and that’s the guy that has the ball every single snap,” Eberflus said. “He’s got to do a great job with that and to me, that starts with that and then, obviously, avoiding a sack and negative plays in operation and all the things that come along with the hardest position in the sport.”

One thing that is helping the Bears on the offense is the performance from rookie right tackle Darnell Wright. As with any rookie, he has had his struggles throughout the season. However, going against defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, one of the most talented rushers in the league, Wright contained Hutchinson for most of the game until the safety at the end.

Overall, Eberflus thinks Wright has been good overall but is still learning some of the challenges of playing this position.

“I think it’s been solid … When you look at a pass rusher, they all bring a different way and what the thing is. It’s like being a corner and covering receivers, it’s the same thing being a tackle,” Eberflus said. “You have to cover this pass rusher from getting to the quarterback, and how you do that is different with each guy. Some guys love the bull rush. Some guys got a knack to really move you through the move area and get on top of you and get around the corner.”

Defensively, second round draft pick, defensive lineman Gervon Dexter, has not performed as well as Wright. In all fairness, Wright has been a starter from the first week of the season, while Dexter only started in the season opener. He has yet to record a sack, has a total of 12 tackles and none of them for loss, but has a total of seven quarterback hits.

Dexter is a player that needs more development, thus being drafted in the second round, but Eberflus believes his floor has continued to grow throughout the season.

“When his pad level is right and his get-off is right, he can be very powerful, and he, like I say, can dent the pocket. He does a really good job with that,” Eberflus said. “We love where his floor is, where he’s building from, and he’s certainly created that floor and moved that up a notch or two these last four games. His pressure rate is starting to go up, and he’s getting more opportunities. We’re giving more opportunities in there, and we certainly like where he is. But, again, with any rookie, with anybody, it’s based on consistency now. He’s got to really keep bringing in every single week.”

There is a lot on the line going into this game, including a potential playoff spot or a potential No. 2 overall draft pick with the New England Patriots winning on Thursday Night Football.

Despite these implications, even for the future of his career, Eberflus continues to take things one game at a time.

“You got to be where your feet are and focus on the challenges that are in front of you, and we’re playing a heck of a football team,” Eberflus said. “It’s a really good football team in a lot of aspects, and it’s going to be a big challenge for us. But, like I said, we’re excited to have them at home, and we’re excited for this game.”

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