Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
I know the Bears aren't allowing fans at any of their home games to start the season because of the coronavirus. But are any of the teams they're playing on the road permitting fans to go to games in person?
Council Bluffs, Iowa
As you'd expect, the situation is pretty fluid. Here's what we know for sure: No fans will be allowed to attend the Bears' first two road games, Sunday in Detroit and Sunday, Sept. 27 in Atlanta. At this time, the only Bears road contest that will include fans in-person is Sunday, Dec. 27 in Jacksonville. The Jaguars are planning to permit 25 percent capacity or 16,791 fans. The Bears' other five road opponents—Carolina (Oct. 18), the Los Angeles Rams (Oct. 26), Tennessee (Nov. 8), Green Bay (Nov. 29) and Minnesota (Dec. 20) are all starting the season without fans but plan to reassess the situation later.
It seems league NFL analysts are skeptical about the Bears keeping five tight ends. Wouldn't the depth chart be better served with more offensive and defensive linemen?
I don't think the number of tight ends is as significant as the fact that the Bears completely revamped the position with five players who weren't with the team at the start of last season in Jimmy Graham, Cole Kmet, Demetrius Harris, J.P. Holtz and Eric Saubert. Holtz and Saubert, in particular, are expected to contribute on special teams, so it's not like they took a roster spot that would have belonged to a lineman. They most likely beat out a safety or a linebacker for a spot as a special-teams contributor. The Bears have plenty of linemen, in my opinion, with nine on the offensive side of the ball and now six on defense with the addition of end Mario Edwards Jr.
With a win Sunday, Matt Nagy will improve to 5-0 against the Lions. When was the last time a Bears coach won his first five games versus an opponent?
The last time that happened (and the only time it has occurred since George Halas retired followed the 1967 season) was when Mike Ditka won his first six games against the Philadelphia Eagles from 1983-89. So it's a pretty rare and special feat I'm hoping that Matt Nagy accomplishes Sunday in Detroit.
Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.