MINNEAPOLIS — The Bears played without starting cornerbacks Jaylon Johnson (shoulder) and Buster Skrine (concussion), but Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins said he was impressed by their replacements, rookie Kindle Vildor and second-year slot cornerback Duke Shelley.
“They did do a good job,” Cousins said. “We weren’t able to hit those explosive plays down the field as we had in other weeks.”
Shelley had seven tackles, Vildor five.
On the team-sponsored pregame show, general manager Ryan Pace praised Vildor — ‘‘He’s been playing well on special teams; he’s been standing out in practice” — and Shelley, who started last week.
“Duke, when you look at [the Texans game], I thought he played with a lot of confidence,” Pace said. “He’s a natural in the nickel spot. He played physical.”
We want the ball
For the first time he can remember, coach Matt Nagy decided to receive after the Bears won the pregame coin flip.
“I just know that it seemed like the right thing to do,” he said. “I look back, and we went three-and-out, so maybe it wasn’t the right decision. But it was just something for us to change it up a little bit.”
One reason for Nagy’s decision: Coming into the game, the Bears had only one offensive touchdown in the third quarter all year. They scored one against the Vikings.
Running back/wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson hurt his knee in the first half. He returned kickoffs in the second half but didn’t play on offense. On the rare occasion that David Montgomery came out of the game, he was replaced by Ryan Nall. Nagy praised Patterson for “kinda tough[ing] it out through a little bit of an injury.”
Tight end Demetrius Harris left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury.