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Chalk Talk

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Chalk Talk: Who was last Bears lineman to catch pass?

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.

Great heads up play by Bobby Massie catching the deflected pass against the Giants and picking up a first down! Who was the last Bears offensive lineman to catch a pass in a regular-season game?
Andrew L.
Zanesville, Ohio

The last time a Bears offensive lineman caught a pass in a game was on Dec. 9, 2018 when tackle-eligible Bradley Sowell hauled in a 2-yard touchdown pass from Mitchell Trubisky for the game's only TD in a 15-6 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football at Soldier Field. Unlike the catch involving right tackle Bobby Massie in last Sunday's win over the Giants, Sowell was the intended target on the play. The play was dubbed "Santa's Sleigh" and featured six offensive linemen and four defensive linemen in addition to Trubisky. The last time an ineligible Bears offensive lineman caught a deflected pass in a game was Dec. 1, 2013 when Kyle Long snared a deflected Josh McCown pass and fumbled after a one-yard loss in an overtime defeat to the Vikings.

Why do the Bears seem to be resting more of their veteran players in practice this year? Is that something new?
Dave M.
Schiller Park, Illinois

Coach Matt Nagy said that he is resting more veterans during the practice week this year. For instance, receiver Ted Ginn Jr., tight end Jimmy Graham and linebacker Danny Trevathan were all given a veteran day off on Wednesday. Those three are in their 14th, 11th and 9th NFL seasons, respectively. Said Nagy: "There's probably a couple of others you might see [get days off] as it goes on this year. I think that's the balance of making sure you listen to [sport science coordinator and dietician] Jenn Gibson, [head athletic trainer] Andre Tucker and [head strength and conditioning coach] Jason Loscalzo. You listen to where these guys' bodies are at. You want them at your max performance on Sunday. So you'll probably see more of that as this season goes on and I think more if it's just based off of the roster we have right now with some older guys."

Is it my imagination or is Tarik Cohen lining up in the backfield more this year than he did last season? It seems like the Bears were trying to make him more of a wide receiver in 2019.
Donny W.
Willowbrook, Illinois

It's not your imagination, Donny. Coach Matt Nagy explained this week how part of the Bears' increased commitment to the running game this season has included lining up Tarik Cohen more as a traditional running back. Said Nagy: "We felt like last year, we used him a lot more quote-unquote as a wide receiver, in that position. It's important that [with] the things that he can do as a back, you use him the right way in regards to whether it's out of the backfield, getting mismatches on linebackers and safeties. But if you're going to do that, you have to be able to make sure that he has touches in the run game as well. I think there's probably more of an emphasis in balancing how many touches he gets as a running back, and on top of that, I really feel like he's taken the challenge that we've given him as a coaching staff to become a more well-rounded back. So far, I like the way that he's handled that."

Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.

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