Bears notes: Rookies Kyler Gordon, Jaquan Brisker out vs. Jets
Both players, the Bears’ second-round picks this year, have concussions. Plus, a look at the offensive line, Chase Claypool and the Jets’ quarterback plan.
Other than quarterback Justin Fields, the last players the Bears want to miss time are rookie defensive backs Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker — their prized second-round picks.
Both will be sidelined for the game Sunday against the Jets because of concussions they suffered last week against the Falcons. They’ve started every game and have been on the field for more than 96% of the defensive plays.
That means a defense that has struggled to keep opponents under 30 points each game will be without two of its best players. The Bears have allowed a league-worst 117.7 passer rating over the last four weeks.
Brisker, a safety, has been one of the best rookies in the NFL, leads the team with three sacks and is third with 73 tackles behind former linebacker Roquan Smith and fellow safety Eddie Jackson. He also has an interception and a fumble recovery.
The NFL’s concussion spotter took -Brisker out of the game twice against the Falcons, though he played all but two snaps.
The Bears likely will start seven-year veteran DeAndre Houston-Carson in his spot. He is predominantly a special-teams player and has gotten just 32 snaps on defense. It has been over a year since his last start.
Gordon got off to a rough start at cornerback but has been better lately. The Bears will rely as much as possible on Jaylon -Johnson and Kindle Vildor, and Jaylon Jones is next in line. Jones is an undrafted rookie but has played extensively on defense in several games.
Right guard Teven Jenkins didn’t play against the Falcons because of a hip injury, but he was a full participant in practice all week and is good to go for Sunday.
That doesn’t mean he’ll start, or even play.
The Bears were relatively pleased with veteran Michael Schofield the last two games and could stick with him. Coach Matt Eberflus said if Jenkins had been healthier last week, the Bears probably would have played both, so that’s a possibility this week, as well.
If the Bears stay with the same group, it’ll be their first starting offensive line to last more than two consecutive games. They’ve had seven lineups in 11 games.
The Bears haven’t shown much urgency in getting new wide receiver Chase Claypool involved. He has yet to play more than 42% of the snaps in a game since arriving from the Steelers in a trade last month.
When he has been on the field, he hasn’t been a factor. Claypool was excited about the change in part because he figured he’d get a bigger opportunity with the Bears, but he has gotten just 11 targets and caught five passes for 32 yards.
He averaged 6.3 targets with the Steelers over the first eight games and averaged 6.9 over the 2020 and ’21 seasons.
Wilson won’t dress
Not only did the Jets bench second-year quarterback Zach Wilson, the No. 2 pick in the draft last year, they don’t plan to have him active Sunday. Coach Robert Saleh said Mike White will start and 15-year veteran Joe Flacco will be his backup.
White has never faced the Bears. They last saw Flacco in 2019 when he was with the Broncos and threw for 292 yards with a touchdown and interception to put the Bears on the brink before Eddy Pineiro’s 53-yard field goal rescued them as time ran out.