Chicago Bears will have to change up their starting DBs again vs Browns
Week 3 is upon us. The Carolina Panthers shocked most of us as they went 3-0 to start the season. Unfortunately, they also lost Christian McCaffrey in the process. McCaffrey left the game with a hamstring injury and is expected to miss a few weeks. This news is honestly better than originally expected. The Chicago Bears are dealing with a hamstring injury of their own. Starting safety Tashaun Gipson is doubtful for Sunday.
Watching the way the Los Angeles Rams exposed the Chicago Bears‘ secondary was not fun. Alright, not fun does not describe the experience at all. Let’s go with disgusting, awful, or insert any expletive you’d prefer. Marqui Christian was a big reason as to why the secondary struggled. Sean Desai noticed just how bad he was and replaced him in Week 2 with Duke Shelley.
Shelley was a healthy scratch in Week 1. Desai clearly has no qualms with accountability. Having Duke Shelley be inactive in Week 1 and then benching Christian in Week 2 shows just how accountable these players will need to be. Honestly, this is a good thing. The bad thing is Jaylon Johnson is the only defensive back playing at an elite level. Kindle Vildor has been a serviceable secondary corner, but honestly, he has been inconsistent. Eddie Jackson has also been up and down. Every one of them should be held highly accountable.
The Chicago Bears secondary played better in Week 2, but that’s also because of how well the pass rush was versus the Bengals. Having a pass rush always makes the secondary’s job much easier. Duke Shelley did a better job than Marqui Christian, but I am not going to say he played well either. Shelley was targeted seven times last week and he allowed six of them to be completed. He gave up over 10 yards per target too. Clearly, the Chicago Bears have a nickel cornerback problem.
Things got worse for the Chicago Bears secondary with Tashaun Gipson doubtful
Tashaun Gipson came up on the Chicago Bears injury report earlier this week as a limited participant. The injury was ruled a hamstring. He did not participate on Wednesday or Thursday and is now doubtful to play versus the Browns on Sunday.
This means that the Chicago Bears will once again be shaking up their defensive backfield. First, it was switching from Marqui Christian back to Duke Shelley at the nickel spot. Now, Deon Bush is likely to start for the injured Gipson. Luckily, Deon Bush has plenty of experience in this defense and should not be too much of a drop-off from Gipson. Bush has been a very serviceable backup for the Chicago Bears, but now they need to face a Cleveland Browns offense with plenty of weapons.
To make matters worse, Odell Beckham, Jr. is rumored to be active and ready to play this week. He has been rehabbing from a 2020 ACL tear and has missed the first two weeks of the season. Jarvis Landry was put on injured reserve after Week 2, but this means the Chicago Bears will have to still put a stop to Beckham and other pass catchers like rookie Anthony Schwartz, Rashard Higgins Donovan Peoples-Jones and tight ends David Njoku and Austin Hooper. The defense will be busy.
The Chicago Bears still need to figure out a way to fix their nickel corner spot. Duke Shelley will likely get another shot at proving himself this week, but the team may need to start thinking of some out-of-the-box ideas if they want to remain competitive this season.