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3 things we learned from the Chicago Bears, including Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker returning to the secondary – Boston Herald


The Chicago Bears returned to Halas Hall on Monday after their bye week to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field.

Here are three things we heard from coach Matt Eberflus and his players.

1. Cornerback Kyler Gordon and safety Jaquan Brisker are out of concussion protocol.

The rookies each missed two games after suffering head injuries against the Atlanta Falcons, but Eberflus said they should be set to return to practice Wednesday.

He said the Bears strength staff will ramp up their workload this week to prepare them for a return to game action.

Gordon and Brisker were second-round picks in the spring, and getting them more experience over the final four games would be a positive for the Bears as they look toward the future.

“Having Gordon there as the nickel, that’ll be a big piece for us going forward,” Eberflus said. “A lot of teams play 11 personnel (three wide receivers), so we’ll be in that group a lot. And obviously the impact Brisker has with his hitting and ballhawking skills — we’re excited to get both of those guys back.”

Brisker has 73 tackles, five tackles for a loss, three sacks, an interception, a pass defended, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 11 games. Gordon has 55 tackles, two tackles for a loss, an interception, four passes defended and a forced fumble.

“(Gordon) has done a lot of good things with the various skill sets that he has,” Eberflus said. “(It’s) just consistency. He’s had games in which he’s tackled really well and then games when he’s had opportunities where we wish he’d been better. I’d really say (we want him) to be more consistent the last four games.”

2. The Bears expect running back Khalil Herbert to return next week.

Herbert has been on injured reserve with a hip injury since mid-November, and Eberflus said the Bears expect him to return once he’s eligible after sitting out his fourth game Sunday.

Herbert had 108 carries for 643 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games before he was injured.

“We’re excited about getting him back next week,” Eberflus said. “He’s been working. In fact, I just talked to him in the hallway here a little bit ago, and he’s getting ready to go. He’s been hitting his max speeds and his jumps look good and his power in his legs looks great.”

The Bears have relied on starter David Montgomery — and Darrynton Evans the last two games — to pick up the workload with Herbert out.

3. In the next two weeks, the Bears face two of the top four teams in yards and points per game.

The Eagles average 392 yards (third in the NFL) and 29.7 points (first). The Buffalo Bills, whom the Bears host at Soldier Field on Dec. 24, average 397.1 yards (second) and 27.2 points (fourth).

Even with the Bears getting healthier with the return of Gordon and Brisker, facing those opponents in back-to-back weeks looks like a mighty test for a defense that hasn’t held an opponent to fewer than 27 points during the team’s six-game losing streak.

“We look at it as an opportunity and a great challenge to be able to see our guys match up individually and also as units against these guys,” Eberflus said. “We’re going to play two of the best defenses in the league over the next couple of weeks and obviously two of the best offenses.

“Both really good quarterbacks. Both are really solid and really good on special teams. So it’s going to be a big challenge for our football team.”

First up is Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, who has thrown for 3,157 yards and 22 touchdowns with three interceptions and has run for 686 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has a 108.4 passer rating on top of being third in rushing yards by a quarterback behind the Bears’ Justin Fields and the Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson.

Watching Fields daily should help Bears defenders understand what they’re up against with Hurts.

“He’s super athletic and he can improvise on the run and go off script similar to Justin,” linebacker Jack Sanborn said. “So it’s definitely going to be a challenge. They have a lot of different designed runs to help him get involved in the run game, so it’s going to be everybody focused on their keys, knowing their rules and playing good football.”



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