This is Chase Claypool’s chance to step up ... right?

After the Bears paid a hefty price to get him — a price that goes up with every loss — Claypool surprisingly is just another guy in the room who can fill the void left by Mooney’s season-ending injury.

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Bears wide receiver Chase Claypool goes all out for a Justin Fields pass against the Dolphins on Nov. 6 at Soldier Field.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times, Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Regrettable as it is, Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney’s season-ending ankle injury sure seems like an opportunity for Chase Claypool to step up and fill the role of No. 1 receiver and give Justin Fields a weapon he didn’t have — a big, fast, always-open downfield threat.

But everywhere you turned at Halas Hall this week, the Bears were pouring cold water on that anticipation. Asked if Mooney’s injury would present an opportunity for Claypool, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy lumped Claypool in with the rest of the remaining receivers as if he were just another guy.

“The guys gotta step up,” Getsy said. “Whether it’s a collective [effort] or whatever, we gotta find a way to get that production from other areas.”

Same thing from wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert when he was asked about Claypool embracing the No. 1 receiver role with Mooney out.

“I think the whole room feels that way,” Tolbert said. “With Mooney being out and the opportunity those guys have … I don’t think it’s only Claypool. I think the whole room feels the same way.”

Not even Claypool was buying into it, when he was asked Wednesday if Mooney’s absence gave him an opportunity to play a bigger role.

“No. I don’t look at it that way,” Claypool said. “I don’t ever look at it that way.”

It’s a little disconcerting to see Claypool lumped in with everyone else in the Bears’ wide receivers when he — presumably, anyway — was brought here precisely because he wasn’t like everyone else in the Bears’ wide receivers room. Because he was better. The one guy with a record of NFL accomplishment. Suddenly, he’s just another guy.

It’s a bigger deal right now because the price the Bears’ paid to get Claypool is getting bigger every week. The second-round pick the Bears had to give the Steelers to acquire Claypool — their own second-round pick, as opposed to the Ravens’ second round pick the Bears received in the Roquan Smith trade — is currently No. 34 overall. That’s two spots from a first-round pick.

As it stands right now, the Bears gave up a draft pick 15 spots higher than the one the Steelers used to draft Claypool in the first place (No. 49 in 2020) — for a player whose production had dropped significantly since his rookie season. Such a deal.

As it stands right now, the Bears traded Roquan Smith and the No. 34 overall pick of the 2023 draft for Chase Claypool, the No. 56 overall pick and a fifth-round pick.

That’s by far a bigger investment than the Bears have made in any other wide receiver on the roster — Velus Jones (a 2022 third-round pick), N’Keal Harry (a 2024 seventh-round pick), Byron Pringle (a one-year $4.125 million contract), Equanimeous St. Brown (a one-year, $965,000 contract) and Dante Pettis (a one-year, $1.035 million contract).

Claypool has seven receptions for 83 yards in four games with the Bears — a modest start that not surprising. He figures to get acclimated eventually.

But it would be fitting if Claypool came up big against the Packers on Sunday. They’re the team whose interest in Claypool reportedly forced the Bears to pony up their own second-round pick instead of the Ravens to get him. But the Claypool acquisition suddenly seems underwhelming for a receiver who thinks he’s a No. 1 guy.

“I hope he thinks of himself that way. I mean, he should,” Getsy said. “And whether the role ends up being that way or not … time will tell. But I hope he thinks that way.”

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