Matt Nagy: Tight end Jimmy Graham’s playing time depends on matchups
Graham went without a target for the first time in his Bears career Sunday, the latest sign his playing time will look different than it did last season.
Tight end Jimmy Graham went without a target for the first time in his Bears career Sunday, the latest sign his playing time will look different than it did last season.
He played 22 snaps — 34% of the time — Sunday against the Bengals. In Week 1 against the Rams, he played 14 snaps — 22% of the time.
Second-year tight end Cole Kmet played 51 and 47 snaps, respectively.
Coach Matt Nagy acknowledged Monday that Graham figures to sit in favor of Kmet when the Bears are in their ‘‘11’’ personnel (one tight end and one running back).
‘‘Some of that is based off of what we think matchup-wise, where he plays more or less,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘The other part of that, too, is he understands that we’re growing and developing Cole. He gets that. Jimmy’s been doing this thing for a long time. And he is actually prideful in knowing he’s a big-time mentor to Cole.’’
Nagy said the Bears were ‘‘very upfront’’ with Graham going into the season.
‘‘There’s gonna be different times that we feel like we want to use the tight ends more — or less,’’ Nagy said.
Defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. is set to return from the suspended list after sitting out the two first games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
The Bears have an open roster spot after putting offensive tackle Larry Borom on injured reserve Saturday, but they nonetheless were granted a roster exemption for Edwards. They figure to put him on the active roster before the exemption expires Wednesday.
The Bears signed Edwards to a three-year deal worth up to $11.5 million in March. He participated in training-camp practices and preseason games.
‘‘That’ll be good to be able to get him back here,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘He put together a helluva training camp with running around, flying around. I’m excited to see him get out here.’’
Peters plays through
Left tackle Jason Peters, a few months shy of his 40th birthday, didn’t miss a snap Sunday. He played 65 downs a week after making it through about half as many — 32 — before leaving with a quad injury against the Rams.
Peters playing was crucial to the Bears with his backup, Borom, on IR because of an ankle problem.
‘‘Without saying a lot verbally, his actions are speaking to these players,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘Like, he showed up and played that entire game and fought through a lot of things there. So I appreciate that from him. I know everybody else does, and he’s a leader on that offense.’’