Little going right for Bears with injuries, poor play
LAKE FOREST, ILL. >> Chicago Bears inside linebacker Danny Trevathan is more interested in what happens next.
The way the preseason has gone, it's probably best not to look back.
"I'm more concerned about (how) we're adjusting and how we're going to bounce back from that," Trevathan said.
"You know it's preseason and I know all that but collectively I want to see us play a little better man, and put together a great start and a great finish at the same time."
From a long list of injuries to a rash of poor play, little has gone the Bears' way.
They're 0-3 heading into a preseason finale at Cleveland on Thursday in which starters will likely play little if at all. That means they have a few more practices, walkthroughs and video sessions to work out their issues before the opener at Houston on Sept. 11.
And the Bears sure have a few at the moment.
They are counting on better health as they try to improve on a 6-10 record last season — their first under coach John Fox and general manager Ryan Pace.
To that end, tight end Zach Miller and receiver Eddie Royal practiced Monday without restrictions after being limited because of concussions.
But there are still some big health issues hanging over the team, with star right guard Kyle Long (shoulder) and outside linebacker Pernell McPhee (knee) sidelined.
It's not clear if either will be ready for the opener — and if they are, how effective they will be.
Fox has given little information about the severity of the injury Long suffered at New England.
McPhee is on the preseason physically unable to perform list after having offseason knee surgery.
"We've some avenues that we're going to have to decide here as we cut down to the (53-man active roster) and some time from now, so I don't like making those decisions now," Fox said about McPhee.
"But we'll continue, like I said, to evaluate him. There are options. He did start the season on PUP. We have a lot of options and we'll do what's best for us and him."
McPhee's performance declined as last season wore on, and he finished with six sacks after getting five in the first seven games.
"It's been a grind since his first day out, busting his tail," outside linebacker Willie Young said. "And it's a credit to him, because to bounce back from any what used to be career-ending injuries is a challenge. But he's on course, I would say."
The Bears, meanwhile, are trying to get on course.
They were shut out by Denver in the first exhibition and took a step back in last week's 23-7 loss to Kansas City after a somewhat promising showing at New England in the second preseason game.
Jay Cutler was off target against the Chiefs. Alshon Jeffery dropped a pass that could have been a big gain. Kevin White, the No. 7 pick in 2015, continued a quiet preseason after missing his rookie season because of a stress fracture in his left shin.
The defense and special teams were hardly dominant. On top of that, it wasn't as if Kansas City was operating at full strength.
The Chiefs were missing three of their top defensive players with Tamba Hali and Justin Houston recovering from knee injuries and safety Eric Berry in a contract dispute with management that ended on Sunday.
For that matter, the Patriots held out Tom Brady when they played Chicago. And the Broncos were missing star linebacker Von Miller.
"It's just been a new team, you know we've got great players, we've got guys that can play ball," said Trevathan, who played for Fox in Denver and won the Super Bowl with the Broncos before signing with Chicago.
"Coming from a different team I didn't see anything wrong. I came here just like a regular person willing to work and get better and strive toward one common goal and that's what we're still doing. We nip it in the bud and we're getting close."
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.