Bears News: Eberflus explains latest with Chase Claypool
Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

Bears News: Eberflus explains latest with Chase Claypool

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO - Another week, another problem in Chicago. While wide receiver Chase Claypool was expected to be back this week to play against the Washington Commanders on Thursday, that is not going to happen. It appears he is not returning to the team at all and will most likely be traded or released.

Following the game, head coach Matt Eberflus stated that Claypool was given a choice, thus, he chose not to play for the Bears on Sunday against the Broncos. However, it is now clear that is not the case.

“To correct the record for Chase Claypool, we did tell him not to be here for the weekend. That included the game. We told him he’d be inactive on Saturday,” Eberflus said. “This morning, we informed him that he’s not going to be here this week for the game as well, and we just feel that’s best for the team at this time. Ryan and I have informed him of that, and we just feel that’s best for the team right now.”

The response from Eberflus shows the disturbing nature of the Bears’ management and communication. It is a serious allegation to say that a player chose not to play in a game that can have serious consequences for that player’s career, such as painting them as a problem child. Basically, Eberflus tried to explain away this error by saying that he was not informed about why Claypool was not present at the game on Sunday.

“The team clarified it because afterward, I told them that I was not clear on it. So, I told them, ‘Hey, we need to clarify that.’ I was not clear,” Eberflus said. “It was after the game. So, after the game, you’re thinking about a lot of different things, and I wasn’t clear on it.”

This whole situation started when Claypool made some comments to the media last week expressing dissatisfaction with how he is being used on the offense. In all fairness, he has not even been with the Bears a full year, and in his comments, he talked about how he was adapting to this new system and “trying to make the most of it.”

However, the implication from the Bears seems to be that Claypool is the problem in this situation. When speaking to the media following the day, quarterback Justin Fields said that he has had “multiple conversations” with Claypool about “his display of his emotions.” Talking today, Eberflus seemed to agree this was a problem but said the team as a whole did much better in focusing on the task at hand in the Denver game, the first game without Claypool present.

“Everybody has frustrations, but you have to be able to control your emotions and focus on the task at hand, and this is this week and this week alone and we did a better job of that last week. We focused on the details. We focused on us playing a better football game, and we did that.”

Whether he meant to or not, this comment from Eberflus seems to imply that Claypool is the reason the team was not focused, which would explain why the team has asked him to stay away. However, the second-year head coach went a little farther with his implications about why Claypool has been asked to stay away from the team, although he will not give a straight answer.

“When I came here, Day One, I talked about being on time, being respectful, working hard, and that to me is important for every individual whether it’s a staff member, a player or a coach,” Eberflus said. “That’s where we are, and we feel right now this is the best decision for us.”

This kind of situation does not fix itself. It seems clear that the Bears are looking to either trade Claypool by the deadline of October 31 at 3 p.m. or simply release him. In any case, it looks like he will never play another game for the Chicago Bears again.

The failure of Claypool to be a factor in the Chicago offense is yet another example of the incompetence of the team as a whole. Before the trade deadline last season, they acquired Claypool from the Pittsburgh Steelers and gave the Steelers their second-round pick, which turned into the No. 32 overall pick. Essentially, that has now become a pick they simply gave away when they desperately could have used it.

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