Bears News: Matt Eberflus on injury updates, Montez Sweat's performance

Bears News: Matt Eberflus on injury updates, Montez Sweat's performance

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO - In another short week for the Chicago Bears, there were some important injury updates resulting from the loss to the New Orleans Saints this past Sunday.

Head coach Matt Eberflus spoke to the media regarding those injury updates.

“(Running back) Khari Blasingame will be out for this next game. He’s in the concussion protocol. (Safety Jaquan) Brisker is back full-go, and he’s been cleared, so that’s a positive for us. Excited to see him back,” Eberflus said. “(Quarterback) Justin Fields is still limited in practice … He’s day-to-day … We’ll know more on Wednesday in terms of how it progresses … (Linebacker) Tremaine Edmunds is also day-to-day.”

Fields has missed the last three games with a dislocated thumb. Undrafted rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent has been in his place. After a promising first game against the Las Vegas Raiders, things have not looked as promising for Bagent, particularly in the fourth quarter of the loss to the Saints with three turnovers.

Overall, Eberflus believes that Bagent has done well, but there is certainly no quarterback controversy in Chicago.

“Bagent has done well, obviously played really well through three quarters, and we’re excited where he is. I think he had 271 yards through three quarters in terms of passing and running,” Eberflus said. “So, we feel good where he is. But, if Justin is there and available and functional, we’ll go with him.”

On Halloween, the Bears front office made a move to help Chicago get back to being a scary defense with the acquisition of edge rusher Montez Sweat. Sweat did not play a lot of snaps in the game against the Saints, as he had just arrived in Chicago.

But when he was in there, he made his impact known, and it changed the way that New Orleans ran their offense.

“(It) really helped free up the other guys,” Eberflus said. “You saw guys chipping (Sweat) out on the way out to the route so that certainly helps the other guys, and I thought our rushers were really rushing well, got some good pressures in terms of pressures on the quarterback, and made him force the ball on some of those third downs a little earlier than he wanted to and certainly (Montez) was a part of that. He had a few of those.”

Perhaps a player like Sweat can also help with the development of some of the young defensive players, such as rookie defensive linemen Gervon Dexter and Zacch Pickens. Dexter has been getting a little more action, being on the field for 37 percent of the Bears’ defensive snaps versus Pickens’ 24 percent. However, neither one of them has been making a consistent impact in their time on the field.

Still, they are rookies, and Eberflus maintains that the staff is seeing improvements from both of them.

“We really feel that they’re improving in terms of their takeoff and the pad level, and I think things that we want those guys to work on,” Eberflus said.

Offensively, one player who has really stepped up, particularly with the absence of Justin Fields, has been tight end Cole Kmet. Kmet was the leading receiver for the Bears last season with 544 receiving yards. This season, he is second so far with 374 yards. After having seven touchdowns last season, he is on track to pass that as he already has five, which is tied for the most receiving touchdowns out of any player on the Bears.

Eberflus has really appreciated Kmet’s impact on and off the field, especially through the adversity Chicago has faced in a number of different ways.

“He’s been leading our football team through this adversity that we’re going through, and he’s been great,” Eberflus said. “His attitude and the way he goes about his business in terms of his work and his enjoyment of the day-to-day operation is just contagious to everybody else, and that’s what he’s really done for me mostly. In terms of his performance on the field has been outstanding. His blocking has been really good.”

The Bears will hope for Kmet to keep up this performance, regardless of the quarterback, going against the Carolina Panthers with rookie quarterback Bryce Young this coming Thursday (7:15 p.m./Prime Video). The Panthers are tied for fourth in most sacks allowed and thus should give Sweat and some other defensive players a better opportunity to make an impact.

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