Turnovers and injuries piled up for the Chicago Bears, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers racked up points in what was a lopsided first half.
The Bears committed four turnovers – all of which resulted in points – and watched three players leave with injuries as the Buccaneers jumped out to a 23-0 halftime lead.
Injuries continue to be problem plaguing the Bears, and they started to pop up early in the first half. Inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, who was replacing Jerrell Freeman (who went on injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle) in the starting lineup, suffered an injured pectoral muscle of his own. The second-year linebacker was sent to the locker room and the Bears declared his return was questionable. Kwiatkoski was replaced in the lineup by Christian Jones.
Left guard Tom Compton was removed from the game because of a hip injury in the second quarter, according to The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain. Hroniss Grasu entered the lineup at center on the Bears’ final offensive drive of the first half, moving Cody Whitehair to left guard to replace Compton. Compton, of course, was starting in place of injured guard Kyle Long.
Before the Bears walked off after their final possession, Kendall Wright left the field favoring his arm. The Bears will get the ball to start the second half, so we’ll know his status rather quickly. Wright, you’ll note, sees more playing time these days thanks to the injury to Cam Meredith.
You are sensing a theme.
The Buccaneers scored three touchdowns off turnovers in the first half. Tarik Cohen muffed a punt leading to a Mike Evans touchdown reception from Jameis Winston, and two Mike Glennon turnovers (pick-6, fumble) added two more scores.
But hey, at least the Bears get the ball to start the second half!