With Leonard Floyd likely down for the season, the Chicago Bears have nothing to lose and should see what they can get out of Isaiah Irving
The Chicago Bears are sitting at 3-7. The NFC is in a better spot than most years as a hole, and the Minnesota Vikings have a five-game lead with six games to go and already have a game in hand. Let’s face it, the season is over.
Of course, the Bears should still try to win. However, this also means they need to start to have 2018 intentions in mind when they make personnel decisions. The time to experiment, see what they have and see what they do not have now puts them in an advantageous spot if they choose to look at it this way.
This means things like starting Isaiah Irving. Irving is an undrafted free agent from San Jose State. Making the roster in 2017 was an impressive feat for him. However, he did shine in the preseason with some pressures and has proven his worth on special teams. He is 23 years old, the youngest pass rusher on the team and the only pass rusher who has an unknown ceiling.
On the other side of Floyd is usually Pernell McPhee with some Sam Acho sprinkled in on both sides. McPhee plays about half of the team’s snaps and Acho a little over 40-percent. The Bears will likely increase the role of Irving, but Acho will see the biggest bump in playing time overall.
Acho is a veteran, he has been solid in his role, and he brings little risk. However, he is also 29 years and his ceiling is known. It is fair to say that Acho would show more discipline, and understanding on the field than Isaiah Irving
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and the ceiling of an undrafted free agent is likely not very high.
However, there is still an unknown, and let’s face it, below average play for the 20 or so extra snaps that would technically make Irving a starter are not going to make or break anything out there. They should give him a couple of games and see if they notice any progression or understanding out there. There should never be a better time to see what they have in Irving than now. If he fails, the effects are tiny. If he succeeds, he earned himself a roster spot in 2018, and the Bears trust him as a depth player more than did.