We already know how important today’s game is for the players, coaches, and fans, but does anyone else get the sense this one’s important for Bears GM Ryan Pace, too?
An Aaron Rodgers collarbone injury has put the Green Bay Packers in a bind, and Pace’s draft picks and recent free agent additions can now prove how much they’ve developed. Sure, you would rather see them beat the best (i.e. Rodgers), but you have to start somewhere.
So, let’s see what this Bears team has in store for us today.
- Today’s game against the Packers is the biggest to date for rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who’ll have a chance to show if and how he’s grown since the bye week. Over at The Athletic, Dan Durkin tracks Trubisky’s development and how it frustratingly relates to Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains’ catch-22 (not having playmakers at receiver).
- Today might be one of those days where the Bears’ special teams and defensive units take a lead role. Pro Football Focus ranks Chicago’s special teams squad as 17th best in the NFL, which is surprisingly high considering kicker Connor Barth’s struggles. At least it looks like ace gunner Sherrick McManis will return to the lineup after sitting out the last two weeks with a hamstring injury.
- Don’t expect any bad blood to boil over between Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan and Packers receiver Davante Adams today. If you recall, Trevathan knocked Adams out cold during Week 4 (it was quite an ugly hit) and it led to a one-game suspension and hefty fine for Trevathan. Fortunately, Randall Cobb was Trevathan’s teammate in college and acted as the peacemaker between the two sides earlier in the season. For what it’s worth, Adams, a receiver, is a free agent after the year, so it’ll behoove the Bears to show off why Chicago is a great, positive place to be.
- But since Adams won’t be switching sidelines today, the Bears will have to just make do with what they have. At least this group of receivers will get a boost with Dontrelle Inman joining the lineup, as Patrick Finely of the Chicago Sun-Times points out. Inman was a favorite target of Philip Rivers while with the San Diego Chargers and is expected to bring a down-field presence to an offense that has lacked one. Inman is also a free agent after the season, so he has a lot riding on the next eight games. A successful run down the stretch could result in a big offseason payday, and perhaps a reunion with the Bears for another season.
- Leonard Floyd doesn’t care who’s playing quarterback, he just wants to bring him down:
Leonard Floyd was asked about playing Brett Hundley instead of Aaron Rodgers: "As long as you play quarterback, I’m trying to get you. It don’t really matter who the person is. … It could be a third-string quarterback and I’d feel the same way about sacking him."
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) November 10, 2017
- That’s the spirit, Leonard. Since picking up his first sack (fittingly enough against Green Bay) Floyd has five sacks in his last five games. With him lining up against a backup right tackle again, Floyd might be primed for another big game against the Packers.
- Some of Green Bay’s biggest names are backing the team’s doctors in the wake of Martellus Bennett’s Instagram accusations. Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson are among those sharing positive stories after Bennett insinuated that the doctors tried to get him to play through a shoulder injury both he (and other doctors) believed to be too serious to play through. The Packers ruled Bennett out for the Bears game and waived him shortly after for failing to disclose an injury. The Patriots have since claimed Bennett off waivers, and he could play as soon as this week.