Bears notes: ‘Warrior’ Khalil Mack returns for second half

After posting nine sacks last season, Mack has three in three games.

SHARE Bears notes: ‘Warrior’ Khalil Mack returns for second half
Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack sprained his foot Sunday.

Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack sprained his foot Sunday.

David Dermer/AP

CLEVELAND — Bears star Khalil Mack sprained his left foot in the first quarter Sunday, sat out the second quarter and then returned for the entire second half. 

He sacked Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield on the first drive of the third quarter and finished with two sacks, two tackles for loss and two quarterback hits.

“It’s big, when a guy obviously is hurting, whatever the case may be, to show that he’s really dedicated to his teammates and doing whatever it takes to get out on the field,” inside linebacker Roquan Smith said. “So you tip your hat to the guy. The guy is a warrior and he fights every day.” 

After posting nine sacks last season, Mack has three in three games. Fellow outside linebacker Robert Quinn has four total after getting 1½ against the Browns. The two have often rushed side-by-side on obvious passing downs under new coordinator Sean Desai; last year, they were on opposite ends of the line.

“It seems to give offenses a headache,” Quinn said. “Who are they going to double-team? So it’s just a nice little change up to give the offense some problems. But we have to make sure it’s effective and make sure it can affect the game in a good way.”

Go for it? 

Behind 13-3 late in the third quarter, the Bears faced fourth-and-2 at the Browns’ 4. Coach Matt Nagy said he considered going for it — briefly — before deciding to send Cairo Santos out to kick a 22-yard field goal to cut the lead to seven.

“At that point, too, the points were hard,” Nagy said. “And to be able to get that back to a one-score game was the ‘why’ part. To come out of there with nothing would have been a little bit deflating.” 

Nagy said it “may have been a little different” were it fourth-and-1. He noticed quarterback Justin Fields lobbying to go for it.

“I do like the fact [Fields] wants to be aggressive,” Nagy said. “But we also have to be smart, too.”

Social media shot?

Not long after the game, tight end Jimmy Graham went on Twitter and retweeted a stat published by CBS about the Bears’ woeful offense. The tweet said that its average of 1.1 yards per play against the Browns was the second-fewest by any team this century.

It’s unclear what message Graham was trying to send, but it doesn’t figure to be a good one. Graham has been a role player this season, going the last two games without a catch, and on Sunday, he was targeted once. 

This and that

Illinois alum Chase McLaughlin made a 57-yard field goal in the second quarter, the longest by a Browns kicker at FirstEnergy Stadium.

• In his first game back after serving a two-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, defensive lineman Mario Edwards had a second-quarter sack.

• Inside linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe left the game with a right hamstring strain.

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