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Gordon, Kramer designated to return from IR | Quick Hits

Bears cornerback Kyler Gordon and offensive lineman Doug Kramer
Bears cornerback Kyler Gordon and offensive lineman Doug Kramer

The Bears on Monday designated cornerback Kyler Gordon and center/guard Doug Kramer Jr. to return from injured reserve, opening a 21-day window for them to return to the active roster.

Gordon, a 2022 second-round pick from Washington, underwent surgery to repair a broken hand he sustained in the season opener against the Packers.

"Kyler is a good player, dynamic player in there at nickel, does a lot of things for us," said coach Matt Eberflus. "That position, if done right, enables us to play various coverages. [He's] a pressure player and [we can] do a lot of different things with him."

Entering the season, expectations were high for Gordon, whose return should help stabilize the secondary.

"He was on his way, had a great camp," Eberflus said. "We were really excited about him starting the year and then he got hurt in the first game. We've been trying to put people in there. We've had [Jack] Sanborn in there a little bit. We've had [Greg] Stroman in there, had different guys in there. But it's going to be really good to get him back so we can be more consistent with our defensive alignment."

Kramer, a 2022 fifth-round choice from Illinois, is a key backup who gained valuable experience by starting the final two preseason games at center and left guard.

Bears set to add to defensive staff

Eberflus revealed Monday that he's in the process of hiring a senior defensive analyst whose main responsibility will be to scout the Bears' next opponent.

"It would give us certainly ideas and things, how to attack that upcoming opponent," Eberflus said, "just to get another set of eyes for advancing for us in that. I don't have a timetable for that right now, but that will be coming shortly."

Ideally, the Bears want to hire someone who boasts NFL experience and some knowledge of their defense.

"It's important to get the right guy," Eberflus said. "Certainly experience helps when you're looking at that position, certainly somebody that's been in the league a while … I think that's important that way but also knows your defense a little bit too."

It doesn't sound like former Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is in the mix. Eberflus coached with Marinelli with the Cowboys but said the veteran coach is "very comfortable in retirement. He's out in Vegas right now. We talk weekly, though, for sure."

Jenkins excels in return to action

Eberflus praised how left guard Teven Jenkins performed in his season debut last Thursday night against the Commanders. After missing the first four games of the season with a calf injury, Jenkins was on the field for 37 of 68 snaps (58 percent) in the Bears' 40-20 win.

"Teven did a really nice job in there coming back," Eberflus said. "He performed well. Of course, you've got to knock a little rust off. There was certainly that part of it, but he did a really good job in there, and there's certainly a good player in there. He gives us a lot of size in there and a lot of lean mass to hold the pocket firm inside there.

"And again, the offensive line did a remarkable job of doing that, giving Justin [Fields] the time. Even when there were just the five guys in there without any chip help, they did a really good job of protecting throughout the whole course of the night."

Bears prepping for Jefferson

Vikings star receiver Justin Jefferson exited Sunday's loss to the Chiefs with a hamstring injury, but the Bears are assuming he'll play Sunday when Minnesota visits Soldier Field.

"You have to prepare as if he's going to play," Eberflus said. "You always have to be ready for that. [He's] one of the most dynamic receivers in the league, so you've always got to prepare for that."

Since being selected by Minnesota in the first round of the 2020 draft out of LSU, Jefferson has caught 357 passes for 5,368 yards and 28 touchdowns in 54 games. He's been named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons and was voted the league's Offensive Player of the Year in 2022 after leading the NFL with 128 receptions and 1,809 yards.

"He's powerful and he's just fluid," Eberflus said. "He's strong through the catchpoint, just a very dynamic player, one of the best in the league at that position."

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