Which Chicago Bears were winners in Week 15 vs. Vikings?
Chicago Bears Week 15 Winner No. 3: Thomas Graham Jr.
Shoutout to Thomas Graham Jr. who was thrown into the starting role with so many players injured or on Covid-19. Coming off of the practice squad he had one of the most notable rookie debuts we have seen in a while. The energy and savvy he played with have put him on notice and he should be playing a lot more going forward. There is even a case for him to be a starter after this week’s performance.
Thomas Graham Jr was cut after training camp but was picked up and placed on the practice squad. He had remained there until this week when he was called up as an emergency replacement for Jaylon Johnson and Artie Burns. He ended up with seven total tackles and three passes defended, including a touchdown preventing breakup.
Graham was placed on the biggest stage of his life and the pressure did not get to him. He was found guarding superstar receiver Justin Jefferson for much of this game and combined the defense held him to only four catches, although one was for a touchdown. The fact that Graham was just thrown into the starting role, and he did not just play well, he played excellently is amazing. It has led many to question why he was not playing at all this season, especially since he was considered great value for where he was taken in the sixth round.
Every player has a different story of how they got their chance in the league. Whether you are a first overall pick or a practice squad call-up, when the moment comes it is up to you to show up. Obviously, it is one game and small sample size, but the Bears could have something in Thomas Graham and should consider using him as a CB2 or CB3 going forward along with Jaylon Johnson.
The defense held their end of the deal on Monday night and deserve a lot of credit for their effort. Robert Quinn and Akiem Hicks led the pass rush, and the linebackers were outstanding all game. The depleted secondary played so much better than everyone thought they would. Credit to the defense and Sean Desai for their performance as a whole this week.