Bears notes: Injuries, wardrobe malfunctions and the return of Soulja Boy to Soldier Field
A look at a busy night for the Bears against the Chiefs in their final home game.
Other than scratching defensive tackle Akiem Hicks on Saturday, Bears coach Matt Nagy kept his word about trying his best to compete with the Chiefs. He didn’t roll out his second string Sunday night.
The Bears started cornerback Prince Amukamara despite a hamstring injury that kept him out of parts of practice during the week — although Amukamara did rotate with backup Kevin Toliver.
The Bears have a handful of other veterans who could use a break by being inactive or going on injured reserve, but Nagy kept most of his personnel intact. His biggest stars — outside linebacker Khalil Mack, safety Eddie Jackson and cornerback Kyle Fuller, to name a few — all took their usual spots in the starting lineup.
That said, the Bears felt the effects of attrition early in the game. Nose tackle Eddie Goldman exited after suffering a concussion in the second quarter that likely will rule him out for the season finale at Minnesota as well.
Goldman has been one of the Bears’ unsung heroes this season, starting every game and recording 29 tackles and a sack.
“He goes unnoticed a lot,” Nagy said recently. “He’s one of the guys on the team that probably makes a lot of plays that you don’t see that help out others. . . . He’s a heck of a player.”
Goldman, the Bears’ second-round draft pick in 2015, is under contract through 2022.
Patterson’s busy night
There was a lot going on for Pro Bowl special-teamer Cordarrelle Patterson, beginning with his fashion statement on the opening kickoff.
Patterson took his spot in the end zone wearing neon orange socks — a clear violation of the NFL’s rigid, anti-fun uniform policy. Sadly, no one got to find out whether Patterson runs faster in those socks, because the kick sailed through for a touchback.
When the Bears’ offense took over, Patterson was stuck on the sideline changing into compliant white socks.
He also suffered an unspecified injury early in the game and went to the locker room, although he returned before halftime.
As part of their 100th season celebration, the Bears honored the best of the 2000s throughout the game. No player was more electric than kick and punt returner Devin Hester, and he got a huge ovation when he was introduced just before kickoff. He even danced in the end zone to Soulja Boy’s “Crank That” — his signature song on returns when he played for the Bears from 2006 to ’13.
Hester, who also topped 3,400 yards from scrimmage as a receiver and runner, has a great chance of becoming the first player to make the Hall of Fame as a return man. He’s by far the NFL’s all-time leader with 20 special-teams touchdowns, giving him strong candidacy when he becomes eligible in 2022.