The Chicago Bears' loss to the Cleveland Browns ensured that the team would finish below .500 in the regular season. So, while they are not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, the team does know that they have little chance of making it and that if they do, it would be a lot of help from other teams.
The Bears will continue to try to win games, but the focus has to start to shift towards the future in the final three weeks. There are three rookies who deserve more work in the final three games of the 2023 season.
3. The Chicago Bears need to play Gervon Dexter more
The Chicago Bears have started to play Gervon Dexter more, and they like what they are seeing. Dexter has played 39% of the defensive snaps this year, but he has gone over that rate in four of the last five games. He has 13 of his 22 pressures this season in the last five games as well.
Still, the team has been fearful of using him on run-downs, and it has kept him below 50%. He has not played over 48% of the team's defensive snaps in a game this season. That has to change in the final three weeks. Dexter may struggle against the run, but he is not going to get better just sitting and watching. At some point, he has to struggle and find ways to survive.
The Chicago Bears are going to lose Justin Jones to free agency this season, and he is having about the same season he had last year, nothing more or less. The team knows what they have in him, and while they should not bench him completely, he could go from closer to 70% of the snaps to the 50% range.
The Bears need growth from this rookie. They have seen it in the last five games, and now it needs to be stronger.