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.
Are the Bears going to start using Velus Jones Jr. on offense? I could be wrong, but I don't think he played any snaps on offense against the Giants.
You are not wrong, Paul. Velus Jones Jr. played exclusively on special teams in his NFL debut last Sunday against the Giants. After missing the first three games of the season with a hamstring injury, the plan is to ease the rookie third-round pick back into action. He had a setback while recovering from the injury and the Bears want to avoid that from happening again. Here's how coach Matt Eberflus explained Monday gradually putting more on Jones' plate: "I just think it's building upon where he's at. Once we know that he's good to go and solid, we'll start building him in there [on offense] as we go. But it will be a smaller role [initially] and [then] a bigger role, and if he improves and goes, we'll just keep building it."
Why don't the Bears pass the ball in the red zone? I think the reason they had to settle for field goals against the Giants is that their offense is too predictable.
The Bears did mix it up in the red zone against the Giants. They had nine snaps on three drives inside-the-20 and called five run plays and four passes. They ran twice and dropped back to pass once on first down, ran twice and threw one pass on second down and ran once and threw passes twice on third down, so there was no pattern. Having to settle for field goals had more to do with negative plays and a lack of execution. The four pass plays that were called resulted in one sack, two incompletions and a completion to tight end Cole Kmet that lost three yards. On five red zone runs, Khalil Herbert gained 1, 2, 9, 1 and 4 yards.
Has there ever been a player before Michael Badgley who was released after scoring all of the Bears' points in a game?
Very intriguing question, Greg. It didn't happen in the middle of the season, but the closest scenario I could come up with occurred in 1999 when Bears kicker Jaret Holmes made his NFL debut in the season finale and made both of the field goals he attempted from 39 and 31 yards in a 20-6 loss to the Buccaneers in Tampa. It was Holmes' only game action with the Bears; he signed with the Giants the next season. As you mentioned, Michael Badgley was released this week after filling in last Sunday on an emergency basis for Cairo Santos and making all four field goals he tried from 29, 22, 40 and 35 yards in a 20-12 road loss to the Giants.