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Chalk Talk

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Chalk Talk: Why was Bray put on active roster?

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.

Why would the Bears elevate quarterback Tyler Bray to their active roster against the Colts, but then name him as an inactive for the game?
Eric S.
Buffalo Grove, Illinois

When the Bears promoted Tyler Bray from the practice squad to the active roster Saturday, it spawned a bunch of wild conspiracy theories, many involving Mitchell Trubisky. But coach Matt Nagy set the record straight Monday, explaining that the move was made so Bray could be on the sideline to help Nick Foles during his first start of the season. (That wouldn't have been the case if Bray had remained on the practice squad.) Bray knows the offense as well as anyone; he was teammates with Foles with the Chiefs in 2016 when Nagy was Kansas City's offensive coordinator and has been with the Bears since Nagy was hired as coach in 2018. Said Nagy: "Tyler's done a good job of understanding where we're at as an offense. [We wanted] to be able to bring him up and kind of help Nick out as well. They have a really good relationship. Having him come up and just be a voice for him, I think sometimes those are parts of the game that are nice to have. There's really nothing to it other than that. Mitch had a really good week of practice; he was great all week long. It was not an easy week for him. It's different all week long being in that [backup] role and he handled it great, and Mitch was awesome on the sideline yesterday."

What happened on the play when Nick Foles tried to hand the ball off to David Montgomery against the Colts, but Montgomery had already ran past him? Didn't that play come directly after a timeout?
Russ W.
Elgin, Illinois

The play you're referring to occurred early in the second quarter with the Bears trailing 7-0 and facing second-and-five from the Colts' 9. (And, yes, it did come immediately after a timeout). As you mentioned, Nick Foles went to hand off to David Montgomery, but Montgomery had already ran past him and Foles was tackled for no gain. Coach Matt Nagy explained Monday what caused the mix-up, saying: "There was a miscommunication with those guys on a 'kill' process. There was a little confusion there from one play to the next. There are some good plays that happen because of a kill and then there's some bad plays that happen because of a kill and that happened to be one of the bad ones, which hurt us in that situation because now you're in third down." Nagy expanded on the situation, saying: "That's the part that bothered me, is it came right after a timeout because we talked about it on the sideline, the play that we were getting into, and without getting into major details, sometimes you go from a pass to a run [or] run to a pass, and basically what happens is we called a run-kill-pass and ended up thinking it was a pass-kill-run, so we off there in communication."

Have the Bears ever played Tom Brady in a prime-time game?
Bob D.

No, Thursday night's game at Soldier Field will mark the first time the Bears will have faced Tom Brady in a prime-time contest. All five of their previous meetings with the future Hall of Fame quarterback have been played on Sunday afternoons.

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

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