It’s remarkable to think the NFL is going to kickoff the 2020 season in Kansas City two weeks from yesterday. But barring a Covid tsunami or another testing lab debacle in New Jersey or the players mounting an NBA-style walkout, the show will seemingly go on. So with so little time remaining before they start keeping score, what don’t we know about the 2020 Chicago Bears?
How Will the Backfield Look?
In the wake of David Montgomery’s injury, the Bears could use Cordarrelle Patterson and Tarik Cohen to piece together their backfield. Or they could elevate the status of undrafted free agent Artavis Pierce. And why not? We see “scrap heap” type backs emerge around the league every year. If Juan Castillo gets them blocking up front, Pierce could become as a key component of the offense. Why not give the kid a shot to carry the load? He’s got talent.
Who is the Quarterback?
A tale of two tweets.
Amazing panel of 7 #Bears reporters. Most believe Foles has slight edge now, but end result was a 4-3 projection that Trubisky will start vs #Lions in opener. This shocked us. @DickersonESPN @danwiederer @kfishbain @dmillerabc7 @MarkPotash @patrickfinley @JJStankevitz pic.twitter.com/62K4QAH5Hr
— Silvy (@WaddleandSilvy) August 26, 2020
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) August 26, 2020
Will Jaylon Johnson Start in Detroit?
Johnson has finally started making impact in practice after sitting out much of the early days with some nagging injuries. And with Artie Burns gone and Buster Skrine far more comfortable inside, the only thing standing in Johnson’s path to the starting lineup seems to be Kevin Toliver. This is one of the most talented defenses in the league. A rookie will certainly draw the attention of opposing offenses.
Will Robert Quinn Be Ready?
Quinn is the key to the 2020 Bears defense. Without him, the Bears will still be able to rush the passer. With him, the Bears have a potentially unstoppable pass rush. But he’s injured, I guess. Here’s how Nagy described what he’s dealing with:
“He had a personal issue that he was dealing with … he dealt with that,” Nagy said. “And now we’re kind of back to physically just making sure we’re smart in regards to how we handle him as a vet.
“He’s been playing this game for a long time and we want to just make sure that we do it the right way. That’s just kind of the plan that we’re on right now. It’s nothing for us that’s concerning. We just want to take our time with it.”
NFL teams now treat personnel groupings and injuries like they are state secrets. What the hell is a “personal issue”? Is he nursing a knee injury or just upset that Woody Allen’s Small Time Crooks isn’t available on any VOD service or streaming platform? (Yes, that’s a personal issue for some people.) Without preseason games, it’s unlikely we’ll get a serious update on Quinn before the week of the opener.
Is There a Kicker Competition?
Eddy Pineiro has “a little bit of a groin he’s dealing with”, according Nagy. Cairo Santos was brought back to Chicago in some kind of vague, Covid contingency plan. Nobody is calling this a kicker competition but a few things are known. (1) The Bears had little faith in Eddy kicking from distance last year. And rightfully so. (2) Santos is a capable NFL kicker. (3) If Eddy remains sidelined and Santos makes a few big ones in practice (whatever those would be) it’d be difficult to see coaches sidelining him for the opener.
These are the questions that will be answered over the coming weeks.