Shortly after the Bears’ loss Sunday, defensive lineman Akiem Hicks was asked about the opportunity the defense will have Thursday against the Buccaneers.
“To sack Tom Brady, first of all,” he said. “After that, we want to play good football.”
The team’s first prime-time performance will provide a stiff test on both sides of the ball. The Buccaneers have won three in a row by an average score of 32-19.
The Bears need to “regroup,” wide receiver Allen Robinson said.
“We’ve got a good team coming in here in Tampa Bay that’s playing well right now, that’s starting to heat up a little bit,” he said. “Again, we have to take on the challenge. We have to come here and play better.”
The Buccaneers might be significantly diminished.
Neither the Bears nor the Buccaneers practiced Monday, but they had to submit injury reports as though they had.
The Bucs listed seven offensive players as, theoretically, not being healthy enough to practice at all: wide receivers Mike Evans (ankle), Chris Godwin (hamstring), Scotty Miller (hip, groin) and Justin Watson (chest), running backs Leonard Fournette (ankle) and LeSean McCoy (ankle) and tight end O.J. Howard (Achilles tendon). Howard could be out for the year.
The Bears — who held a walk-through — said safeties Deon Bush and Sherrick McManis, who have hamstring injuries, would not have been able to participate in a regular practice. Outside linebacker Khalil Mack (knee) would’ve been limited, the same way he has been for every practice this year.
Miller in, Denmark out
To make room for running back Lamar Miller on the practice squad, the Bears cut cornerback Stephen Denmark. The 2019 seventh-round pick was first cut at the end of training camp, only to return to the practice squad the next day. Denmark has not appeared in an NFL game.
Miller, who has almost 6,000 career rushing yards, missed all of last season after tearing his ACL as a member of the Texans. The Bears agreed to sign him Friday.
This and that
Coach Matt Nagy said he had no update on kicker Eddy Pineiro, who remains on injured reserve with a groin injury. Cairo Santos figures to kick Thursday.
† When new Texans interim coach Romeo Crennel takes the field Sunday, he’ll surpass Bears founder George Halas as the oldest person to coach an NFL game. Halas was 72 years, 318 days old when he coached his last game in 1967. Crennel is 73.
† Running back David Montgomery played by far his season high at 85.5% of the offensive snaps Sunday, leaving only 18% for Cordarrelle Patterson and 2% for Ryan Nall. He got 77% of the Bears’ carries, up from 60% the first three games.