Bears rookies Kyler Gordon, Jaquan Brisker return from concussion protocol

The Bears are getting their top two draft picks from this season back.

SHARE Bears rookies Kyler Gordon, Jaquan Brisker return from concussion protocol
Bears safety Jaquan Brisker chases Falcons receiver Damiere Byrd last month.

Bears safety Jaquan Brisker chases Falcons receiver Damiere Byrd last month.

Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The Bears are getting their top two draft picks from this season back. Cornerback Kyler Gordon and safety Jaquan Brisker, who both suffered concussions during the Bears’ Nov. 20 loss to the Falcons, have been cleared from league protocol, coach Matt Eberflus said Monday.

That will help an overmatched Bears defense Sunday against the Eagles’ A.J. Brown, whose 1,020 receiving yards are sixth-most in the NFL, and DeVonta Smith, whose 775 ranks 21st.

“Having Gordon there as the nickel, that’ll be a big piece for us going forward,” Eberflus said. “A lot of teams play [one running back, one tight end] personnel, so we’ll be in that group a lot. And obviously the impact Brisker has with his hitting and ball-hawking skills.

“We’re excited to get both of those guys back.”

Their return against the Eagles will almost double the number of Bears defenders on the field with a legitimate chance to start on next year’s team. Defensive tackle Justin Jones, linebacker Jack Sanborn and cornerback Jaylon Johnson are the only three whose combination of health, contract status and level of play qualifies.

Brisker, a Penn State alum, leads the Bears with three sacks — an impressive feat but also damning of the Bears’ league-worst pass rush. Gordon, a fellow second-round pick from Washington, has been inconsistent from game-to-game while playing nickel cornerback.

“He’s had games in which he’s tackled really well, and then games when he’s had opportunities where we wish he’d been better,” Eberflus said.

Gordon left the Falcons game with a head injury and didn’t return. Brisker was taken off the field by a concussion spotter twice and returned both times, only to be diagnosed after the game.

They went through Monday’s walk-through and will return to practice starting Wednesday.

“It’s important for us to be able to ramp those guys up,” Eberflus said.

Herbert to return

The Bears plan on getting running back Khalil Herbert back next week, the first time he’s eligible to come off injured reserve.

Herbert went on IR with a hip injury Nov. 13 and, by league rule, has to miss four games before returning. That puts him on pace to return to practice Dec. 20 and play Dec. 24 against the Bills.

Herbert is averaging six yards per carry, the most of any running back in the NFL.

Eberflus said that Herbert has returned to maximum speed during workouts. The height of his jumps and power in his legs “look good,” he said.

This and that

Eberflus reaffirmed that Alex Leatherwood, who made his Bears debut against the Packers, will continue to rotate at right tackle — if not play more than veteran Riley Reiff.

“Practice will dictate that,” he said.

The Bears claimed the former first-round pick from the Raiders at the start of the season, but mononucleosis landed him on the reserve/non-football illness list for a month.

† Johnson will be the Bears’ extra captain Sunday.

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