A day after inside linebacker Roquan Smith declared he would play against the Raiders on Sunday in London, coach Matt Nagy left his status for the game unclear.
“Again, I’m going to leave it as a completely personal issue,” Nagy said Thursday before practice. “I’m not going to get into any details on that.”
Smith was a full participant in practice for a second consecutive day after missing the game against the Vikings because of an unknown personal issue.
The Bears have kept mum about the issue that made Smith miss the first game of his short NFL career. And when Smith met with the media Wednesday, he declined to share any details regarding his personal matter but said he has moved on.
“I’m good,” he said. “It was personal. It’s behind me. Just looking forward to getting better today out at practice and going back to work with my guys. I’m past the situation now. Just addressing it because I have to.”
As their plane took off for the nearly eight-hour flight, the Bears announced that wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (concussion) and guard Ted Larsen (knee) were the only players who didn’t travel with the team.
That means Smith, guard Kyle Long (hip), quarterback Mitch Trubisky (shoulder) and defensive lineman Akiem Hicks (right knee) are making the journey.
Nagy said Hicks, who missed the Vikings game, has shown signs of improvement this week, but he’ll remain a game-time decision.
“He’s getting better,” Nagy said. “This is a day-to-day thing with him, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”
Playing without Hicks is a big loss for the Bears’ defense, but defensive lineman Nick Williams is prepared to step up in his place if needed.
“Akiem Hicks is a great player, great talent in this league, replacing him, you can’t do it,” Williams said. “He’s a Pro Bowl-caliber player. And we would love for him to be out there with us, but if he can’t go, just like Nagy said earlier, it’s next man up, and we just have to go out and put our best football on the field.”
Cohen up for royal challenge
Running back Tarik Cohen believes he has what it takes to make a member of the Queen’s Guard smile or laugh.
“I think I can break them,” he said. “That’s something I’m pretty good at.”
When a reporter told Cohen about his unsuccessful attempt to crack a member of the Queen’s Guard, Cohen said: “We’re probably in a different category. I’m funny.”
“I’m elite,” he said. “I’m like Kevin Hart, Eddie Murphy.”
This and that
With Gabriel out, look for Javon Wims to get more targets against the Raiders.
Nagy, who applauded Wims for his four-catch, 56-yard performance against the Vikings, has been impressed with his development over the last season.
“Last year, Javon was kind of learning the pro game,” Nagy said.
“Now he’s getting more confident, he knows what routes he’s good at, we know what routes he’s good at, and he fits in well.”
- Asked what London landmarks he wanted to see, Long said: “I want to see what the end zones are like at Tottenham Stadium.”