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Chalk Talk


Chalk Talk: Will Mooney play versus Texans?

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

Is Darnell Mooney going to play against the Texans? I see that he missed practice all week due to a personal issue. Can you shed any light on that?
Ryan T.
Racine, Wisconsin

The Bears have not disclosed the nature of the personal issue that has kept rookie receiver Darnell Mooney from practicing this week, but coach Matt Nagy indicated Friday that he expected the fifth-round pick to suit up Sunday against the Texans, saying: "I do feel good about where he's at and having him play." So that obviously would provide a boost for an offense that played its best game of the season last weekend versus the Lions. Mooney has been a pleasant surprise this year, catching 40 passes for 428 yards and two touchdowns.

How did the Bears defense leave a Lions receiver so wide open for a touchdown late in last Sunday's game? What happened on that play?
Dennis T.
Zion, Illinois

It initially appeared that a miscommunication between safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. and cornerback Jaylon Johnson enabled Lions receiver Marvin Jones to get wide open and catch a 25-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford late in last Sunday's game at Soldier Field. But during Zoom video calls with the media this week, defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano revealed that there was no confusion on the play, just a lack of execution, while Johnson accepted blame for the TD, attributing it to "a mental error on my part, nothing more, nothing less."

Who was the last Bears running back to win the rushing title?
Lamont B.
Tukwila, Washington

The legendary Walter Payton remains the last Bears player to lead the NFL in rushing, a feat he accomplished in 1977 when he ran for a career-high 1,852 yards and 14 touchdowns on 339 carries. Other Bears who have won the NFL rushing title are Beattie Feathers (1934), Bill Osmanski (1939), Rick Casares (1956) and Hall of Famer Gale Sayers (1966 and 1969).

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

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