Bears notes: How much will new WR Chase Claypool play Sunday vs. Dolphins?
Plus, a look at key injuries in the secondary, offensive-line concerns and what’s going on with the Dolphins’ new players.
The Bears are eager to see what new wide receiver Chase Claypool can add to their offense, but they intend to work him in gradually. With only three practices before his debut, he’ll likely be limited against the Dolphins.
“We’ll give him as much as he can handle, and at the end of the week we’ll determine, ‘OK, we have X amount of plays for Chase,’ ’’ wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert said. “You don’t know when those plays will come up. . . . He could have anywhere from 10 to 30 snaps depending on how many times [offensive coordinator Luke Getsy] calls those plays.
“He’s a smart enough guy to know what the play concept is, but knowing how to line up and shift in motion is the most important thing. . . . He won’t be expected to know the whole playbook this week, but he’ll have his specific plays and hopefully give us some quality snaps in the game.”
Concerns in secondary
As the Bears prepare to take on one of the NFL’s best passing attacks, two of their top defensive backs are in question.
Safety Eddie Jackson and cornerback Kyler Gordon were limited in practice again Thursday because of hip injuries they suffered in the 49-29 loss to the Cowboys. Both have been on the field for 98.6% of the defensive snaps this season.
If they’re out or working at less than full speed against the Dolphins on Sunday, that’s problematic. The Bears have their work cut out against wide receivers Tyreek Hill (No. 1 in the NFL in receiving yards) and Jaylen Waddle (No. 4), as well as tight end Mike Gesicki.
“Everybody says Tyreek, but they have another guy,” Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams said in reference to Waddle. “Both of those guys and Gesicki, you have to make sure they’re not just running through. When you let them do that, they’re dangerous.”
Led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the Dolphins average 292.5 passing yards, trailing only Buffalo and Kansas City. And that’s with Teddy Bridgewater and Skylar Thompson getting significant playing time. Tagovailoa leads the NFL with a 112.7 passer rating and is third in completion percentage at 69.9.
The Bears are fresh off getting scorched by Dak Prescott and the Cowboys for 11.9 yards per completion, and that was with their full secondary available. Prescott lit them up for a 114.5 passer rating.
Offensive line shifting
Bears right guard Teven Jenkins was full-go for practice Thursday after a back injury limited him Wednesday, but right tackle Larry Borom remained out because of a concussion.
The team also is hoping to have left guard Cody Whitehair (knee)back after he missed the last four games. Whitehair is practicing but needs to be activated from injured reserve by Saturday to play.
Dolphins left tackle Terron Armstead, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, missed practice Wednesday because of a toe injury and was limited Thursday. He missed the Week 6 game against the Vikings but played every snap in the last two and is likely to start against the Bears.
The Dolphins picked up former Broncos Pro Bowl outside linebacker Bradley Chubb at the trade deadline, and he went through his first full practice Thursday. He’ll debut for the team against the Bears, as will former 49ers running back Jeff Wilson.