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Bears Bulletin

Darnell Mooney likely to miss rest of season with injury

Bears receiver Darnell Mooney
Bears receiver Darnell Mooney

Bears coach Matt Eberflus revealed Monday that receiver Darnell Mooney likely will undergo season-ending surgery to repair the ankle injury he sustained in Sunday's loss to the Jets.

Mooney was hurt while blocking on David Montgomery's 13-yard run from the Bears' 1 early in the second half when a Jets player rolled up the back of the receiver's left leg.

"It's unfortunate," Eberflus said. "Mooney did a great job blocking on that. It was a second effort. Obviously a really good run by David. A guy ended up trying to tackle him and swung around … and his leg was there."

Mooney leads the Bears with 40 receptions for 493 yards and two touchdowns. The third-year pro caught just 10 passes for 173 yards in the first five games but had 30 receptions for 320 yards in his last seven contests.

"I think he's done a great job," Eberflus said. "It was a slow start for everybody. Once we got going into the offense, I think he really started to shine. He's outstanding at blocking the perimeter. He had a really nice connection with Justin [Fields] throughout that stretch.

"He's our leading receiver. But more importantly he's a great teammate. He's a great leader. No one puts more yards in than Darnell Mooney, I'll promise you that. He laps people. He doubles them up. That's what the numbers tell me. His speed and his numbers are outstanding. He works extremely hard.

"What I told him yesterday was, 'Hey, just hang in there. Things happen. Still be around. We want you to be around and be in that leadership role and helping the younger players out.' He's a great Bear, for sure."

Losing Mooney was a major blow to the Bears offense.

"I mean just his attitude, you feel it in the building," said tight end Cole Kmet. "He just brings light in the room, a great leader, a dude that everyone seems to gravitate towards. So whenever you lose a guy like that in the huddle it's definitely tough for the team. He's a great playmaker but just his attitude and how he approaches his day-to-day is just really special."

Nothing definitive

Safety Eddie Jackson also exited Sunday's loss after suffering a foot injury on Garrett Wilson's 54-yard touchdown reception that gave the Jets a 14-10 lead with 4:57 left in the first half. Jackson crumpled to the turf without being contacted by another player, before Wilson even caught the ball.

Eberflus said Monday that Jackson was still being evaluated and wasn't sure if the injury was season-ending.

"With Eddie, I don't know yet," said the Bears coach. "We're going to find out with Eddie where it is. He has to see the doctor and we'll get more information and we'll go from there.

"We'll see where it goes. We've got to prepare. If it does happen that way then we'll have to get some young guys ready to play."

On the mend

After Fields sat out the Jets game with a left shoulder injury, his availability for Sunday's home contest versus the Packers remains uncertain. More could be known Wednesday when the Bears are required to release their first injury report of the week.

"He's got 48 hours here to heal up until Wednesday and then we'll see where it is from there," Eberflus said. "But if he's ready to go 100 percent like I said last week, to protect himself and play the way he does and performing the way he does and the doctors clear him, [general manager] Ryan [Poles] and I say he looks good and he feels good about it, then it's a green light."

Fields was deactivated Sunday after testing his ailing left shoulder by throwing some passes in sweats during pregame warmups. Eberflus and Poles discussed the situation with the quarterback and the Bears medical staff before making the call.

Fields injured his non-throwing shoulder late in the game a week earlier in a loss to the Falcons. Listed as questionable on the injury report after being limited in practice last week, the second-year pro was a game-time decision. But he was not cleared to play.

More injury issues

Eberflus said that the injury that knocked right tackle Larry Borom out of Sunday's game in the fourth quarter was an ankle issue. Borom had entered the contest in the first period after starter Riley Reiff left with a shoulder injury.

If Reiff and Borom are unable to play Sunday against the Packers, Eberflus said that possible replacements include Alex Leatherwood or Michael Schofield III, who filled in for Borom versus the Jets.

Listening to Eberflus, it didn't sound like moving Teven Jenkins back from right guard to right tackle—where he opened the season—was likely.

"We'll see where that goes, but we're pretty comfortable with him playing guard," Eberflus said.

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