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.
With the NFL expanding to 17 games this year, I was wondering how many times the league has played an odd number of games in a season.
This will be the first time the NFL plays an odd number of games in a season since 1987 when one contest was cancelled due to a players' strike. The Bears went 11-4 and won the NFC Central Division under coach Mike Ditka. The only other times that occurred were when the NFL played an 11-game schedule from 1937-42 and again in 1946. The Bears won three NFL championships during that span in 1940, 1941 and 1946.
I'm sure you've gotten lots of schedule questions, but one thing that stood out to me was that 17 games alternated between home and away. How often has that happened with no back-to-back home or away games?
It's my understanding that this is the fifth time since the NFL expanded to 16 games in 1978 that a team has alternated between home and road contests the whole season. The other clubs that have done it are the 1985 Falcons (4-12), 1991 Buccaneers (3-13), 2012 Falcons (13-3) and 2019 Ravens (14-2). As you can see by their records, those teams were either very good or very bad in those seasons. Honestly, I really don't think it's much of an advantage or a disadvantage, just an interesting quirk in the schedule.
Whatever happened to the cornerback from the CFL who got injured after signing with the Bears last year? Is he back with the team?
Yes, Tre Roberson has returned to the Bears and will be among eight first-year pros participating in this weekend's rookie minicamp at Halas Hall. Roberson initially signed with the Bears in January 2020, but he broke his foot during the offseason and was waived in late July. Prior to joining the Bears, Roberson spent two seasons with the CFL's Calgary Stampeders. In 2018, he helped the Stampeders win the Grey Cup championship, recording 54 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles. In 2019, he registered 41 tackles and seven interceptions—two of which he returned for touchdowns.
Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.