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Snap Decisions: Cohen, McPhee See Biggest Playing Time Increases, Ex-Starter Amos In On Just One Play, More

Analysis and Commentary

Rookie tight end Adam Shaheen isn’t the only Bears player whose playing time is raising some brows.

Two weeks into the season, and there’s already been plenty of player movement on and off the practice squad/active roster, as well as in and out of the huddle.

Let’s check out whose playing time is trending where heading into Week 3:

  • When asked why Tarik Cohen wasn’t on the field down the stretch in a close Week 1 loss, offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains explained he didn’t believe the rookie running back wasn’t ready for a full load. One week later, Cohen (40 snaps) was on the field for more snaps than starter Jordan’s Howard (31 snaps). Perhaps Howard’s injured shoulder played a role, but he did insist on Monday that his shoulder was fine. It’s worth noting that 32 of Cohen’s 40 snaps came on pass plays, meaning there’s still value from a fantasy perspective if you own Cohen in a PPR league. While Cohen only received 15 touches, it wasn’t for a lack of time on the field.
  • New offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn has his work cut out for him, because his group was left in shambles after Sunday’s loss. The Bears were mixing and matching all afternoon, after left guard Tom Compton (hip) and right guard Josh Sitton (rib) were sidelined with injuries. Compton’s injury led to Hroniss Grasu seeing time at center with 40 snaps and moved Cody Whitehair to left guard. But when Sitton was sent to the bench because of an injury, Bradley Sowell slid into the left guard position. Ultimately, Whitehair moved to right guard as Sowell took 25 snaps at left guard. The Bears could see some stability along the offensive line if Kyle Long returns to action on Sunday, but he hasn’t seen game action since 2016.
  • After playing just four snaps in Week 1, Pernell McPhee saw a significant increase in playing time Sunday against the Bucs. As head coach John Fox points out, a healthy McPhee played 24 snaps, which amounts to 33.8 percent of the team’s defensive plays. He did come through with a 79.6 grade, which was the second-highest grade given out by PFF to a Bears defender on Sunday.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • Nick Kwiatkoski made four tackles on the Bears’ first defensive possession, but missed most of the game because of a potentially season-ending pectoral injury. Kwiatkoski hitting the sideline had the Bears plugging all sorts of linebackers into action. Reserve Christian Jones played 47 snaps, while Sam Acho saw action on 32 snaps. Jonathan Anderson, who was elevated from the practice squad after Jerrell Freeman went on injured reserve, did not play.
  • Cre’von LeBlanc made his 2017 debut in the Bears’ secondary by playing five snaps in Week 2. LeBlanc, who was one of the NFL’s best nickel defenders last season, did not play in a single defensive snap during the Bears’ Week 1 loss to the Falcons.
  • Bryce Callahan, who was pretty good in the nickel himself, has been taking a lion’s share of the reps as the Bears’ third corner, playing in 41 Week 2 snaps. And it’s fair to say Callahan is making the most of his playing time, seeing that his 75.4 grade through two weeks is the best among Bears corners. There is an argument to be made that Callahan has played the best out of any member of the Bears’ secondary.
  • Marcus Cooper and Kyle Fuller have been taking starters snaps, which continued in Week 2. Cooper led the way playing in all 71 defensive snaps against the Buccaneers, while Fuller checked in with 67. Cooper was on the wrong end of a Mike Evans touchdown pass, which served as a reminder of how much the Bears miss a healthy Prince Amukamara.
  • Adrian Amos, who started 30 games in his first two seasons as the Bears’ primary starter at safety, has played one snap in two games. Amos graded out as an above average player by Pro Football Focus last season, which makes his dip in playing time look quite curious. The again, rookie Eddie Jackson has impressed the Bears to earn starter snaps next to Quintin Demps. Jackson has been in on all 130 defensive snaps the Bears have played this season.
  • Tanner Gentry was released on Tuesday after playing just eight snaps against the Bucs. He did have a drop in Week 2, which probably didn’t help his cause, but it came in a meaningless fourth quarter for the Bears in a blowout loss. So, shrug.


Luis Medina

Luis is the Lead Writer at The Ten-Yard Line, and you can find him on Twitter at @lcm1986.