LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Rookie Tyson Bagent helped lead the Chicago Bears to their first home win in more than a year with quarterback Justin Fields sidelined.
It looks as though he will get another chance to start this week.
Bagent is in line to be behind center again with Fields doubtful to play and likely missing his second consecutive game because of a dislocated right thumb, coach Matt Eberflus said Monday.
Bagent delivered a steady performance in a 30-12 victory over Las Vegas on Sunday. Undrafted after a record-setting career at Division II Shepherd University in West Virginia, he led three touchdown drives in his first start and the Bears (2-5) won for the second time in three games after losing 14 in a row.
“He understands the play design,” Eberflus said. “He understands where it’s supposed to go, and he gets rid of it in a timely fashion.”
Bagent took over after Fields was injured in a Week 6 loss to Minnesota. Against Las Vegas, the Bears simplified the game plan and relied on short passes and handoffs.
Bagent completed 21 of 29 passes for 162 yards and a TD, helping Chicago stop a 10-game home losing streak.
The defense. Chicago has been stingy the past two weeks, limiting Las Vegas to 235 yards after holding Minnesota to 220.
Meanwhile, cornerback Jaylon Johnson may have hit his payday — whether it’s with the Bears or another team.
Johnson had two of Chicago’s three interceptions after recording one in his first 43 games. He returned first one 39 yards untouched for a touchdown in the fourth quarter and delivered a message when he ran to the other side of the end zone, looked into a camera with his helmet off and made a “make it rain” gesture.
Johnson also made it clear after the game he wants to be paid like an elite cornerback. He’s in the fourth and final year of his rookie contract. The trade deadline is Oct. 31.
“I’ve been wanting to get to the table,” Johnson said. “I mean, at the end of the day, it’s I know who I am and I know I can play this game at a high level and I feel like I deserve to be paid like that.”
WHAT NEEDS HELP
The offensive line. More like a “needs time” than a “needs help” after the line had one of its best games. The Bears allowed two sacks after giving up 25 in the first six games, and might have settled on a lineup after juggling it all season because of injuries and a personal issue. They had Cody Whitehair at left guard after Lucas Patrick replaced him at center during the Week 6 loss to Minnesota and moved Teven Jenkins to right guard from the left side. If they decide to stick with that lineup and those three stay healthy, then they’ll have a decision to make when right guard Nate Davis (high ankle sprain) is ready to return.
RB D’Onta Foreman. The sixth-year pro ran for 89 yards on 16 attempts and recorded his first three touchdowns — two rushing and one receiving — since signing with the Bears in March. Not bad for a player who was a healthy inactive in Weeks 2 through 5. With Khalil Herbert (ankle) on injured reserve and rookie Roschon Johnson (concussion) sidelined the past two games, he has taken advantage of his opportunity the past two games. Foreman had 65 yards on 15 carries against Minnesota.
Fields. Yes, he remains Chicago’s No. 1 quarterback. But the Bears have some big decisions looming. One is whether to exercise his fifth-year option for 2025. The Bears could be in a position to draft one of the top quarterbacks, with their own first-round pick or the one they got from Carolina in the trade for receiver DJ Moore. The Panthers (0-6) are the lone winless team.
Eberflus said Johnson has “another hurdle” to clear, but is on course to practice Wednesday. … Davis will miss his second straight game. … S Jaquan Brisker got checked for a concussion — and did not have one. He got shaken up on a pick play defending a 2-point conversion pass attempt near the end of the game. … Eberflus said the Bears might open their 21-day evaluation window on LT Braxton Jones (neck) to return from IR.
2 — The Bears haven’t won two in a row since Weeks 16 and 17 of the 2021 season, when they beat Seattle and the New York Giants.
The Bears visit the Chargers on Sunday. Chicago has won six of the past eight games, though Los Angeles took the most recent meeting — 17-16 at Soldier Field.
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