The 2-7 Chicago Bears will play the 1-7 Carolina Panthers at Soldier Field in a Week 10 matchup. Here’s what you need to know before kickoff (7:15 p.m., Prime Video, Fox-32).
Still time to prove he’s the QB of the future?
Perhaps if the Bears were not in the Thursday night national television slot for the second time in five weeks, Justin Fields would have been able to give it a go against the Panthers.
But coach Matt Eberflus announced undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent will make his fourth consecutive start, saying Fields is not medically cleared to return from a dislocated right thumb after another limited practice session Wednesday.
It’s a solid bet Fields will return for the Nov. 19 NFC North game at Ford Field against the Lions. At that point seven games will remain in a season that began with intense focus on whether the former first-round pick is indeed the franchise’s quarterback of the future.
It’s looking increasingly unlikely the Bears will ride with Fields into 2024 and beyond, and it’s unfortunate the thumb injury has cost him a month to provide evidence to the contrary. Read more here.
Brisker ready to ‘fly around’ on defense
Jaquan Brisker was pushing to return from a concussion, his second in two seasons, Sunday in New Orleans but said the Bears and the doctors involved wanted to err on the side of caution.
Now, after missing two games, the strong safety is set to start tonight. It will provide a glimpse of the defense we haven’t seen much this season.
Brisker and free safety Eddie Jackson have been on the field together for what amounts to about 1 1/2 games this season — the opener against the Green Bay Packers and small portions of the Week 2 loss at Tampa Bay and the Week 6 loss to the Vikings. That’s it.
With the secondary rounding back into shape, the Bears have to hope they can change a problematic trend. Read more here.
QBs can cry if they want to
Quarterback Caleb Williams — a past Heisman Trophy winner and projected 2024 NFL draft first-round pick — passed for 312 yards and three touchdowns for USC in a 52-42 loss to Washington.
He was strip-sacked late in the second quarter and three plays later, the Huskies went up 35-28 before the half. It was the fifth time in the last six games the Trojans defense gave up at least 40 points.
After the game, Williams, 21, was shown sitting on a railing in the stands and embracing his mother with his face covered by a poster. He was visibly overcome by emotion, likely from the frustration of seeing his conference championship hopes dissipate despite his own best efforts. As he cried in his mother’s arms, the national broadcast cameras stayed there for a minute as ABC announcers Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit, in tones suitable for the situation, provided context to what Williams could be feeling. Read more here.
Catch up on all our coverage before kickoff
A peculiar loss brings more concern — but a little optimism too: Brad Biggs’ 10 thoughts on the Bears
True or false: DE Montez Sweat’s debut with the Bears was encouraging
Embarrassments versus triumphs: How to conduct an honest performance review of the Bears
Former Bears coach Mike Ditka sells Streeterville condo for $575,000
Column: Montez Sweat trade comes down to 1 goal — GM Ryan Poles and the Bears are seeking to add ‘erasers’
A whirlwind week for Montez Sweat — including a life-changing contract extension — ends with the Bears’ 7th loss
Bears sign nose tackle Andrew Billings to a 2-year extension, keeping the run stuffer through 2025