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Chalk Talk

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Chalk Talk: Will Ridley play against Titans?

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.

Without Javon Wims the next two weeks, will the Bears activate Riley Ridley to take his place? I have wanted to see what he can do for quite some time.
Joe P.
Flemington, New Jersey

With the Javon Wims suspension and this week's release of veteran Ted Ginn Jr., it certainly seems likely that Riley Ridley will be active for the first time Sunday when the Bears visit the Tennessee Titans. Ridley is now one of only four receivers on the 53-man roster, joining Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney and Anthony Miller. I suppose that Cordarrelle Patterson, who has worked at running back this season, could pick up some slack at receiver. But, like I said, it seems reasonable to assume that Ridley will be active. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor said Thursday that he has been impressed with how Ridley has performed in practice both as part of the scout team against the No. 1 defense as well as running some of the Bears' plays. Said Lazor: "I think Riley's really done well in those areas … Coach [Matt Nagy] does a great job of scripting a period most practice days where the practice squad players, backups, most of the guys who aren't going to be active on game day, actually get to rep our plays offense versus defense, so we've done that all year. Not everywhere I've been has done that. Coach does that. I think it's been a great opportunity for development for those guys. It gets them real intense coaching at that moment because the starters are all out and the coaches are just focused on them."

What's the status of Mitchell Trubisky's shoulder injury?
Phil G.
Brooklyn, New York

Coach Matt Nagy confirmed that quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was in Los Angeles Thursday for a second opinion on the right shoulder injury he sustained on his 3-yard carry in last Sunday's loss to the Saints. Nagy did not provide a timetable for Trubisky's return. Here's what the coach said Thursday when asked about Trubisky's availability moving forward: "I don't have any updates with him. I have not talked to him yet and so we'll be kind of working through that. And that kind of goes hand-in-hand with knowing whether or not where we see him as far as the upcoming games and season. I'm sure he's got a lot going through right now his mind as to where he's at and that's something we've got to definitely look into and see how he's doing."

What were the Bears thinking at the end of the first half against the Saints? A little over a minute left and they call timeout? Even if the Bears stopped them, they would have had to drive the length of the field with one or zero timeouts. The offense has shown no previous signs of having that quick-strike ability all year.
Lyndon M.
Fort Knox, Kentucky

The situation you're referring to occurred with the Bears leading 13-3 and the Saints facing third-and-13 from their own 40. The Bears called their second timeout with :58 remaining. Personally, I think it was an excellent decision and one that I would have made, and here's why: I really like my chances that the NFL's No. 1-ranked third-down defense, which had stopped the Saints on seven straight third downs, would do so again and get the ball back. Despite struggling most of the season, the Bears offense had, in fact, just shown some quick-strike ability earlier in the second quarter with a 4-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that featured Nick Foles completions of 50 yards to Darnell Mooney and 24 yards for a touchdown to Allen Robinson. Plus, you have a kicker in Cairo Santos that is in a groove. If the Saints do pick up a first down, I'm thinking the worse-case scenario is that they kick a field goal at the end of the half. Of course, that's not what happened. The Saints gained 12 yards on third-and-13, picked up the first down on fourth-and-1 and eventually scored a touchdown in just 1:36, closing the gap to 13-10. So the decision to take a timeout there on third-and-long backfired. But I still like Nagy's approach in that situation, being aggressive and trying to increase the Bears' lead.

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

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