Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus’ staff found another way to be incompetent for the 2023 season for how they botched two needed spots on the injured reserve. Eberflus has come under fire from fans and the media after posting just five total wins with Chicago before Week 10 of his second season.
Eberflus has been scrutinized for issues with his coaching staff this season. The 2-7 Bears lost their defensive coordinator, Alan Williams, and running backs coach, David Walker, for separate undisclosed reasons. But a recent report shows how Eberflus had another major oversight that cost the Bears needed roster depth this season.
The Chicago Bears botched a return spot on a Cardinals player
Per a report by Courtney Cronin with ESPN, offensive lineman Nate Davis and quarterback Justin Fields were unable to go on injured reserve because the Bears used two of their eight allotted return spots on players who are no longer on the 53-man roster:
“NFL teams can designate up to eight players to return from IR during the season, and an individual player can be so designated twice.
5 players have been put on IR then designated to return: Braxton Jones, Khalid Kareem, Teven Jenkins, Doug Kramer and Kyler Gordon.
3 players were designated to return this week but have yet to be activated off IR: Khalil Herbert, Equanimeous St. Brown, Josh Blackwell.
It’s a numbers game the Bears had to navigate. If Fields only ends up missing 4 games, that’s the same amount of time he would have had to spend as a minimum IR stint.”
A thread for those wondering why the Bears did not use an IR spot on Justin Fields or Nate Davis.
NFL teams can designate up to eight players to return from IR during the season, and an individual player can be so designated twice.
5 players have been put on IR then designated…
— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) November 8, 2023
This week, the Arizona Cardinals claimed offensive lineman Doug Kramer off the Bears practice squad. Khalid Kareem, who the Bears signed in August when they cut defensive end Trevis Gipson (who’s having a productive season off the bench for the Tennessee Titans), was activated off injured reserve on Oct. 29th but released two days later. Kareem is currently on the Bears practice squad.
Davis will miss his fourth-straight game against the Carolina Panthers Thursday night. Fields is also expected to miss his fourth-straight game against the Panthers. The Bears seem more hopeful Fields can play in their next game against the Detroit Lions after the mini-bye since he at least has been practicing.
But Davis has been out of practice all of Week 10 due to his ankle injury. The Bears are out of injured reserve returns for the rest of the season when they activate Herbert, St. Brown, and Blackwell, who have been designated to return.
This coaching staff wasted two return spots on players who aren’t even backups on this team. It’s another damning report of how Eberflus is mismanaging this Bears team.
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