Sep 26, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA;  New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) reacts to an intentional grounding penalty flag during the second half against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Giants dig for help as Bears chase third win

New York Giants coach Brian Daboll lauded the play of quarterback Daniel Jones in the team’s Week 3 home loss to Dallas, contending Jones’ versatility kept the Giants in the game.

Jones accounted for 275 total yards while recording at least 75 yards on the ground for the third time in his career.

That ultimately wasn’t enough in a 23-16 defeat, but Jones showed the kind of leadership the team hopes to channel in Sunday’s game against the visiting Chicago Bears — and going forward. New York (2-1) has started the season strong despite a thin receiving corps that absorbed more bad news during the Dallas game, as No. 1 wideout Sterling Shepard suffered a torn ACL in his left knee on a non-contact play.

Contact has been a hot topic as the Giants attempt to keep Jones healthy and the offense running. He’s averaging 8.3 rushing attempts through three games and was hit 12 times with 17 pressures in the loss to the Cowboys. Jones has been sacked 13 times this season.

“You want to eliminate, or at least limit, the number of hits,” Daboll said. “You can tell a quarterback, don’t take this. That’s usually when they start thinking about things. He’s making good decisions, when to take off. Guys that can scramble, making loose plays, put pressure on the defense. I’ll never take that away from him.”

New York hopes to get a boost from struggling Kenny Golladay as well as a pair of receivers in Kadarius Toney (hamstring) and Wan’Dale Robinson (knee) who are hoping to come untracked after navigating early-season injuries. In addition to those injuries, the Giants have mounting concerns in the secondary. Cor’Dale Flott (appendix) is a new addition to the injury list and Nick McCloud (hamstring) is unlikely to play in Week 4.

Fortunately for Daboll, running back Saquon Barkley remains a stabilizing force for the Giants’ attack. He leads the NFL with 408 yards from scrimmage, an average of 136 per game, and has a history of faring well against the Bears. Barkley rushed for 102 yards in the most recent meeting, and had 146 scrimmage yards in a home overtime win against Chicago in December 2018.

The Bears (2-1) are coming off a 23-20 home win against Houston in which their defense aided a struggling offense.

A Roquan Smith interception deep in Houston territory set up Cairo Santos’ game-ending field goal. Quarterback Justin Fields was 8-for-17 for 106 yards and a pair of interceptions. Fields was resolute about shifting his focus toward the Giants.

“Just learn from your mistakes knowing that you’re not going to be perfect and move on. … Just correct each and every mistake and try to be better in every aspect,” he said.

Smith missed practice Wednesday, as did cornerback Jaylon Johnson, with a quad injury. He’ll be needed for a repeat of last week’s good fortune.

An opportunistic defense and sterling running game helped the Bears take down Houston despite losing top rusher David Montgomery (ankle) to injury in the early going, and Chicago ran for 281 yards. Khalil Herbert enjoyed a breakout game, running for 157 yards and two scores.

Chicago boasts a three-game winning streak in the series and a 31-21-2 all-time edge against New York. The Bears rolled past the visiting Giants 29-3 in the teams’ most recent meeting in Week 17 of last season, although their leading passer (Andy Dalton) and rusher (Montgomery) from that afternoon are no longer with the organization and day-to-day, respectively. Montgomery didn’t practice Wednesday.

The Giants didn’t practice Wednesday but estimated top defensive lineman Leonard Williams (knee), Toney (hamstring) and Robinson (knee) would have missed the session.

Bears coach Matt Eberflus said the team hopes receiver Velus Jones Jr., who has missed the first three games with a hamstring injury, will be available against the Giants. He was limited in Wednesday’s practice.

“He’s been conditioning, working in there,” Eberflus said.

The team this week placed receiver Byron Pringle (calf) on injured reserve.

–Field Level Media

Jan 16, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Byron Pringle (13) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half in an AFC Wild Card playoff football game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Bears place WR Byron Pringle (calf) on injured reserve

The Chicago Bears placed wide receiver Byron Pringle on injured reserve Tuesday with a calf injury.

The team activated linebacker Joe Thomas from the practice squad to fill the vacancy on the 53-man roster.

Pringle, 28, exited Sunday’s win against the Houston Texans in the first half after catching one pass for 11 yards.

He has two receptions for 33 yards in three games with Chicago after spending his first three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Pringle will be eligible to return in Week 8 after missing a minimum of four games.

Thomas, 31, had five tackles in his Bears debut Sunday against the Texans. He previously played with the Green Bay Packers (2015-17), Dallas Cowboys (2018-20), Texans (2021) and Baltimore Ravens (2021).

–Field Level Media

Sep 25, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears running back Khalil Herbert (24) runs the ball in the second quarter against the Houston Texans at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Bears beat Texans with buzzer-beating field goal

Cairo Santos kicked a game-winning 30-yard field goal as time expired, and Khalil Herbert rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns to boost the Chicago Bears to a 23-20 victory against the Houston Texans on Sunday afternoon.

A Roquan Smith interception of Texans quarterback Davis Mills with 1:05 to play set Chicago up at the Houston 12-yard line. Smith had 16 tackles, including two for loss, to go with his interception.

Chicago (2-1) ran for 281 yards while limiting Houston to 92 yards on the ground. Mills was 20-for-32 passing for 245 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Ka’imi Fairbairn kicked a pair of field goals for the Texans, while Santos had three.

While his mobility served him in the running game, where he gained 47 yards on eight carries, Bears quarterback Justin Fields struggled in the pocket, finishing 8-for-17 passing for 106 yards and two interceptions.

Fairbairn connected on a 39-yard field goal with 11:25 remaining in the third quarter to give the Texans a 17-13 lead. Chicago answered three minutes later, as Herbert scored from one yard out and put the Bears on top 20-17.

Houston tied the game at 20 in the final minute of the third with a 23-yard Fairbairn field goal.

Houston coach Lovie Smith, who guided the Bears from 2004-2012, remained winless against his former team in three tries. Smith was 81-63 in nine seasons in Chicago and led the Bears to a Super Bowl appearance following the 2006 season.

Bears running back David Montgomery exited the game midway through the first quarter with injuries to his right knee and leg. Montgomery was hurt during a pass play that resulted in offsetting penalties. Wide receiver Byron Pringle (calf) left the game in the first quarter, as well.

The Texans took a 14-13 lead into the locker room. The home crowd booed the Bears as they jogged off the field, unhappy about the decision to let the clock run out with all three timeouts remaining.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) tries to break a tackle by Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith (58) in the second quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Bears LB Roquan Smith (hip) questionable vs. Texans

Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith is listed as questionable with a hip injury for Sunday’s game against the Houston Texas.

Smith missed practice all week and coach Matt Eberflus is hopeful the fifth-year-pro will play against the Texans.

Smith, 25, has 20 tackles in two games this season. He topped 100 in each of his first four NFL campaigns, including a career-best 163 last season.

Solid cornerback Jaylon Johnson (quadriceps) also is questionable, while receiver Velus Jones Jr. (hamstring) is doubtful.

Chicago has ruled out linebacker Matthew Adams (hamstring), defensive back Dane Cruikshank (hamstring) and tight end Ryan Griffin (Achilles).

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) looks to pass in the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Young QBs in spotlight when Bears meet Texans

For NFL quarterbacks, the road to proficiency is long and arduous, a fact that second-year signal callers Justin Fields and Davis Mills can confirm.

With both coming off subpar showings, Fields and Mills will square off Sunday when the Chicago Bears host the Houston Texans.

Fields attempted only 11 passes in the Bears’ 27-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers last Sunday, matching his lowest total as a starter and marking the fourth time he has attempted fewer than 20 passes in a start in his brief career.

Two of those occasions have come this season, as Fields has attempted just 28 passes while throwing for 191 yards through the first two games. Those conservative totals, coming on the heels of his uneven rookie season, have yielded questions concerning whether Fields has the trust of his coaching staff, namely offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.

“Everybody in the building knows that Luke knows what he’s doing,” Fields said. “We put full trust in him knowing that he’s going to put us in the best position to win. If our offensive coordinator thinks the plays he’s given me are going to help us win the game, that’s all I care about.”

The Bears (1-1) rushed for 180 yards on 27 attempts against the Packers, paced by David Montgomery, who finished with 122 rushing yards, and Khalil Herbert, who added 38 on just four attempts. The Bears’ lone touchdown came via Fields’ 3-yard scoring run in the first quarter.

If Chicago is reluctant to let Fields orchestrate the offense, its ground attack appears solid enough to provide him some temporary cover.

“There’s a commitment first off to it, it’s declared,” Texans head coach Lovie Smith said of the Bears’ run game. “You look at the last game, it showed two excellent running backs, an offensive line that blocks, an athletic quarterback that can cause problems that will open up some things with that.

“It will be a big challenge for us. We haven’t played our best ball versus the run, haven’t tackled as well as we need to. All of those things should come into play this week.”

Mills leads an offense that mustered only two red-zone opportunities in two games while converting just 7-of-28 third-down attempts. Houston ranks 29th in offense with 533 yards. Mills’ 5.6 yards per completion ranks above one other quarterback with two starts this season: Mitch Trubisky of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

How much responsibility Mills shoulders in advancing the Texans (0-1-1) offensively is up for debate given his relative inexperience. To Mills’ credit, he understands that the buck stops with him.

“Just keep straining, try to make plays,” Mills said. “We do it out here in practice. We did it all camp, throughout preseason, just got to execute once we get in the games. It starts with me. I’ve got to make all the throws and I haven’t done that. Just got to keep pushing for what we’ve been training for and I think we’re ready to perform. We’ve just got to do it.”

Bears cornerback Dane Cruikshank (hamstring), tight end Ryan Griffin (Achilles), wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. (hamstring) and linebacker Roquan Smith (hip) were all non-participants in practice on Wednesday.

Defensive lineman Maliek Collins (knee), tight end Brevin Jordan (ankle) and cornerback Isaac Yiadom (thigh) missed Wednesday’s practice for Houston. Defensive lineman Jerry Hughes was also a non-participant, but not because of injury. Mills practiced fully.

–Field Level Media

Green Bay Packers linebacker Preston Smith (91) sacks Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) during their football game on Sunday, September 18, 2022 at Lambeau Field. in Green Bay, Wis. Wm. Glasheen USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

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Bears QB Justin Fields: ‘I respect every fan that we have’

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields attempted to mend fences with the team’s fans on Wednesday, three days after he came under fire for downplaying their investment in wins and losses.

“It hurts more in the locker room than for Bears fans. They aren’t putting in any work,” Fields said Sunday night following the Bears’ 27-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

With a few days to reflect, Fields said he didn’t intend to offend the fans.

“I should have done a better job explaining what I meant by that,” Fields said Wednesday.

The second-year pro said he was frustrated with the team’s first loss of the season.

“I respect every fan that we have,” Fields said Wednesday. “I’m glad that we have fans. I would never disrespect anybody on what they do or what they love to do.”

Fields, 23, has completed 15 of 28 passes for just 191 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in two games this season.

He has completed 174 of 298 passes for 2,061 yards with nine touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 14 games since being selected by the Bears with the 11th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

Green Bay Packers running back AJ Dillon (28) blocks for running back Aaron Jones (33) as he scores a touchdown against Chicago Bears safety Jaquan Brisker (9) in the second quarter during their football game Sunday, September 18, 2022, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

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Packers, Aaron Rodgers continue dominance of Bears

Aaron Jones ran for one score and caught a touchdown pass to help the Green Bay Packers to a 27-10 victory over the visiting Chicago Bears on Sunday night.

Green Bay (1-1) scored three touchdowns in the second quarter for a 24-7 halftime lead.

Chicago (1-1) trailed 24-10 entering the final period, but missed an opportunity to make it a one-score game midway through the fourth quarter when quarterback Justin Fields was stopped inches short of the goal line on fourth-and-1 and the call was upheld on review.

The Packers responded with a drive to the Bears 16, pushing the lead to 27-10 on Mason Crosby’s 28-yard field goal with 2:28 left.

Jones, who had just five carries for 49 yards in Green Bay’s 23-7 opening loss at Minnesota, finished with 132 yards on 15 carries.

Aaron Rodgers completed 19 of 25 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns to improve to 24-5 against the Bears, including one playoff win.

Fields completed 7 of 11 passes for 70 yards with one interception. David Montgomery ran for 122 yards on 15 carries.

The Packers went in front 10-7 when Jones burst off tackle right for a 15-yard touchdown run on the opening play of the second quarter.

Jones made it 17-7 when he took a short shovel pass from Rodgers and skirted around right end for an 8-yard score with 4:36 left in the first half.

The Packers put together a 67-yard drive on their final series of the second quarter, pushing the lead to 24-7 when Rodgers hit Allen Lazard over the middle from 5 yards out.

Green Bay was driving to open the third quarter, but the Bears recovered a botched handoff between Rodgers and AJ Dillon. Chicago capitalized with a 44-yard field goal by Cairo Santos for the only points of the period.

Chicago answered an opening field goal with a seven-play, 71-yard touchdown march, capped by Field’s 3-yard run to the right corner. A 30-yard completion to former Packer Equanimeous St. Brown keyed the drive.

Green Bay put together a 13-play drive on its opening series, but settled for Crosby’s 40-yard field goal after Rodgers was sacked on third-and-15.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates as he walks off the field following the game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Flustered Aaron Rodgers refocuses on mastery of rival Bears

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers showed visible frustration when the team’s first offensive play of the season went awry.

A would-be 75-yard touchdown pass slipped through the hands of rookie wide receiver Christian Watson, a harbinger of sorts for an offense that stalled during a 23-7 road loss to Minnesota in Week 1.

Green Bay (0-1) hopes another week of practice brings cohesion to the passing game as the Packers prepare to host the NFC North rival Chicago Bears on Sunday night. It should also help matters to have perceived No. 1 wide receiver Allen Lazard back following a one-week absence to heal his awkward ankle injury.

As Packers coach Matt LaFleur sees it, Rodgers has taken it upon himself of getting the newest members of the receiving corps up to speed.

“He’s done a great job demanding the urgency of those young guys, yet putting his arm around them at the same time,” LaFleur said. “Because we know there’s going to be a learning curve. You can’t expect it otherwise.”

One thing LaFleur and his team have going for them is their opponent. Rodgers’ 61 career touchdown passes vs. the Bears are his most against any team. His past four starts versus the Bears have been especially solid, with Rodgers accounting for 15 touchdowns, 14 through the air, to go with a 141.5 passer rating.

And last season Rodgers spiced up the rivalry in Week 6, yelling “I still own you!” in the direction of a Bears fan at Soldier Field.

Green Bay was en route to earning a 24-14 road victory which preceded a 45-30 home win against the Bears in Week 14. That game marked Green Bay’s 20th victory in the past 23 regular-season meetings with Chicago. The Packers have also won 12 the last 14 meetings at Lambeau Field.

But many of Rodgers’ current receivers are new to the historic rivalry.

“The most important thing is to communicate with them. And figure out what style works best for them,” Rodgers said on Wednesday.

Lazard, a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice, missed the Minnesota loss after being stepped on by a teammate in practice.

“It wasn’t a good feeling, physically or mentally, given the situation and everything,” he said. “I always look at injuries as a positive, in a sense of like, yes, it was an unfortunate situation but maybe if I would’ve kept practicing, maybe if I would’ve played in the game on Sunday, then a more detrimental injury would have taken place or something like that.”

Bears rookie defensive back Kyler Gordon, for one, is embracing the challenge of facing Rodgers, who has seen his share of defensive fronts in his career.

“Just try to make it as hard as humanly possible, whether that be disguise or playing into that,” the second-round pick out of Washington said. “Playing your own mind game or head game or whatever you can do to throw him off his own game. Just making it as hard as we can on him.”

Chicago (1-0) is coming off a 19-10 upset of San Francisco in the season opener. Playing on a soggy Soldier Field and navigating persistent rain, the Bears benefited from a pair of Justin Fields touchdown passes as the team won in Matt Eberflus’ debut as head coach.

Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy got the right rhythm with a deluge — an estimated 4.2 inches of rain fell in the area, mostly during the 1 p.m. ET-4 p.m. ET game window — that might’ve helped slow the 49ers’ strong pass rush. Getsy might glance at the forecast for Green Bay with mixed emotions as more rain is in the forecast for Sunday night.

Green Bay is hoping for good news on left tackle David Bakhtiari and left guard Elgton Jenkins, who were also limited Wednesday and didn’t play in Minnesota.

Running back David Montgomery looks to get going for the Bears after gaining 50 scrimmage yards against San Francisco. Montgomery has averaged 90 scrimmage yards in five career games against Green Bay.

–Field Level Media

Jan 15, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Las Vegas Raiders guard Alex Leatherwood (70) reacts after their loss against the Cincinnati Bengals in an AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Bears place OL Alex Leatherwood on NFI list, out 4 weeks

The Chicago Bears placed offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood on the non-football injury and illness list Wednesday.

The 2021 first-round pick will be sidelined for a minimum of four weeks. NFL Network reported he has mononucleosis.

“We feel great about where he is and him coming back,” Bears coach Matt Eberflus told reporters Wednesday.

Leatherwood, 23, was inactive for last Sunday’s season-opening win against the San Francisco 49ers.

He started all 17 games as a rookie last season with the Las Vegas Raiders, who waived him on Aug. 30. The Bears claimed him the following day.

Chicago re-signed offensive lineman Michael Schofield in a corresponding move. The Bears released him on Aug. 30 to reach the 53-man roster limit.

Schofield, 31, has played in 102 games (81 starts) with the Denver Broncos (2015-16), Los Angeles Chargers (2017-19, 2021) and Carolina Panthers (2020). He was part of the Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 winning season as a rookie.

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) drops back to pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Rain-soaked Bears score final 19 points to sink 49ers

Justin Fields passed for two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 12:45 remaining, and the defense forced a pair of turnovers to boost the host Chicago Bears to a 19-10 victory against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday afternoon.

The Bears fell behind 10-0 but Fields overcame early struggles to upstage 49ers counterpart Trey Lance, finishing 8-for-17 passing for 121 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a soggy season opener.

Chicago took its first lead early in the fourth quarter, as Fields connected with Equanimeous St. Brown for an 18-yard TD. The Bears created a valuable cushion after Eddie Jackson intercepted Lance on the following possession, as Khalil Herbert capped a five-play, 21-yard scoring drive with a 3-yard TD run with 7:21 to go.

San Francisco turned the ball over on downs on its last two possessions and committed 12 penalties in the game.

The 49ers went up 10-0 when Deebo Samuel rushed for a 6-yard touchdown with 10:11 to play in the second quarter. Robbie Gould, a former Bear, connected on a 25-yard field goal with 8:22 left in the third.

Chicago responded on the ensuing possession for its first points of the season. On third-and-10 from near midfield, Fields scrambled to escape pressure and found Dante Pettis open on the right side of the field for a 51-yard touchdown.

Bears kicker Cairo Santos missed the extra point attempts after both fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Lance was 13-for-28 for 164 yards and an interception. He also led the 49ers in rushing with 54 yards on 13 carries following the exit of Elijah Mitchell (knee) in the second quarter. Jauan Jennings had four catches for 62 yards. San Francisco tight end George Kittle (groin) was inactive.

Herbert rushed for 45 yards for Chicago.

Footing loomed as an issue throughout the game, the first for the Bears under new coach Matt Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles. Steady morning rain saturated the Soldier Field turf, a Bermuda grass that recently was installed.

Rain returned during the game, when a penalty related to the elements took the Bears out of field-goal range. With Santos set to attempt a 47-yard field goal, holder Trenton Gill was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct for bringing a towel onto the field to dry the kicking area. The penalty forced a Chicago punt in the final minute of the second quarter.

–Field Level Media