Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks was close to playing Sunday before sitting out for the first time in a Bears uniform with a right knee injury.
“He went out there and just felt OK,” coach Matt Nagy said. “So we just felt like at that point in time, let’s not do it.
“Our guys stepped up, we had some guys that really stepped up yesterday on that defensive line.”
The thought process was similar with right guard Kyle Long, Nagy said. Long first appeared on the injury report Thursday with a hip injury.
“With Kyle, it’s just one of those things where he was feeling some pain, and we just felt, ‘You know what, right now, where you’re at — again, we have depth,’ ” Nagy said. “ ‘So, let’s see where you’re at,’ and then game time, he just wasn’t — same as Hicks — he just wasn’t feeling it, so we felt we were okay, you know? . . .
“I can’t state enough how appreciative I am of our coaches, that when this stuff happens, when we make these decisions, sometimes spur of the moment, these guys all handle it the right way. The next guy up handles it the right way.”
With the victory Sunday, the Bears became only the second team this year — along with the Texans in Week 2 — to win the week after playing on “Monday Night Football.”
“Really good teams, what they do, they win after a Monday night game,” Nagy said.
The Bears are treating this week like a short week, too. The coaches won’t be able to prep on Thursday night the way they usually do, as the team will be on a intercontinental flight.
“I don’t worry too much about that with the schedules and stuff — the guys will be fine,” Nagy said. “You got a long trip over there so let’s make sure we take care of some of the guys with some nice seats on the way over.”
Nagy said he was “really happy” with the pass protection backup quarterback Chase Daniel received by an offensive line that finished with a third-stringer playing right guard. Daniel was sacked once.
“I thought they did a great job,” Nagy said. “That’s a pretty strong front that they have, that defensive line.”
He wasn’t as complimentary about the run game.
“We’re improving,” he said.” I’ll never question our guys’ effort. We got a bunch of guys that play hard on the offensive line. I just feel again, we’re feeling things out and every week it’s a little bit different of a scheme. But I like where we’re at. I know we can improve, and I think we will.”