STEPHANIE STREMPLEWSKI: Bears rest up during bye week
Week 5 wasn't great for the Bears.
Chase Daniel had a decent game (22-of-30 passes, two touchdowns, two interceptions) until the fourth quarter - when it counted.
This week's bye gave Mitch Trubisky extra time to recover from his left shoulder injury. He is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints.
The hungry Bears defense was in hibernation against the Raiders as rookie running back Josh Jacobs stole the show in the first half.
Holes were left open for Jacobs to slide through, and quarterback Derek Carr was protected by his offensive line.
Khalil Mack didn't give his usual "Mack Attack" performance, and only recorded three tackles against his former team.
Jacobs came to the Raiders as part of the Mack package trade, where the 2019 first-round pick the Bears traded was used by the Raiders to select Jacobs.
This was the first game where it looked like the Bears lost their end of the deal.
The defense continued to struggle in the fourth quarter where it counted, allowing a late touchdown that would put the Raiders up for the final time.
The offense had one last shot to get a shaken up Eddy Pineiro (pinched nerve) into field goal range, but the Bears' potential comeback was intercepted by cornerback Gareon Conley with less than a minute and a half left.
Stopping the Saints' running game early on should help the Bears avoid another fourth quarter panic.
Trubisky, defensive end Bilal Nichols and Week 3 star wide receiver Taylor Gabriel were full participants during Wednesday's practice.
Offensive lineman Kyle Long (hip) and key-defensive player Akiem Hicks (elbow) were placed on the injured reserve list earlier this week.
Hicks is expected to return near the end of the season, while Long's injury could leave him out for the season.
The Bears promoted rookie guard Alex Bars from the practice squad to fill the roster spot left by Hicks. Either Bars or offensive tackle Rashaad Coward will replace Long at right guard on Sunday.
There's still plenty of football action ahead for the Bears to improve their strategy. At least they're not 0-6 like the Cincinnati Bengals.
Stephanie Stremplewski can be reached at 219-933-4084 or [email protected] The opinions are the writer's.
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