The Chicago Bears are 3-7 following a third consecutive loss on Sunday, this time to the Detroit Lions. While the past month has been frustrating, it hasn’t been a surprise. This team is going through an obvious rebuild. They have tons of work to do next off-season. GM Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus need to figure out who among the 53 players on the roster is worth keeping around beyond this season. One thing is for sure. Plenty of names should be feeling the pressure right about now.
Make no mistake. This regime isn’t going anywhere. They aren’t on the hot seat for losing. It’s their first year. Ownership knew what it was getting into when Poles and Eberflus were hired. If the losses keep mounting, the players will pay the price. If there wasn’t much urgency to play well before, that will change as the season enters the home stretch in November. Looking across the roster, several names should be feeling the pressure to perform.
Several Chicago Bears starters won’t stay that way much longer.
He was supposed to be one of the key guys to help Justin Fields develop as a passer this season. Pringle had a strong year in 2021 with the Chiefs and seemed ready to build on it. Instead, he got arrested before the season began, made one catch in September, and then got hurt. He wasn’t much of a factor after returning, either. Pringle appears to have been little more than a byproduct of Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid doing what they do. He’s running out of time to change that perception.
He wasn’t overly impressive when he was on the field this year. Then after suffering a concussion, he was kept on the sideline by a 34-year-old Riley Reiff, who isn’t that good as well. That isn’t the kind of impression you want made to a new regime that knows they have a young franchise quarterback they need to protect.
This was supposed to be the year that Montgomery had his best season. His rookie contract is coming to an end. If he wanted to get paid, he needed to play well. That hasn’t happened. He’s averaging 3.55 yards per carry over the past month and scored only one touchdown. Khalil Herbert has vastly outperformed him. Unless he catches fire in the final seven games, Montgomery might not be back.
This might be the biggest surprise on the list. Johnson has flashed coverage brilliance at times during his first three seasons with the Chicago Bears. However, his productivity (one INT in 34 games) is far below expectations for a starting NFL cornerback. He’s on course to allow a 100+ passer rating for the third year in a row. The likelihood he is gone after this season isn’t high, but people should prepare themselves for the possibility. Don’t forget he enters the last year of his rookie contract in 2023.
The guy talked a big game before the season. He’d had seven sacks last year and felt the transition to defensive end made his life even easier. Over half of the season is now over. He has two sacks and hasn’t been much of a factor rushing the passer since September. This dry spell, combined with the fact this regime didn’t draft him, doesn’t bode well for his future.
Gipson isn’t the only defensive end not doing his job. Muhammad is an even bigger disappointment. He was supposed to be an expert on this defense, having played under Eberflus in Indianapolis. So much for that. He’s been a non-factor in the passing game all year. One sack in nine starts. That is laughably bad.