If fans tried to imagine a worst-case scenario for the Chicago Bears heading into Week 3 of the 2016 NFL season, it probably wasn’t even as bad as real life is currently. Not only are the Bears 0-2 at this point, but they’ve seen their roster completely depleted due to injuries. Shockingly, the Bears are allowing the ninth-fewest yards per game this season (312), but the ninth-most points per game (26). Those two stats together make very little sense, but not much about the Bears season to this point does.
Heading into Week 3 against the Dallas Cowboys, the team’s official website has 14 players listed as either questionable, doubtful or out. The group looks as follows:
- Adrian Amos, safety: Questionable (concussion)
- Bryce Callahan, cornerback: Questionable (concussion)
- Ka’Deem Carey, running back: Doubtful (hamstring, changed to out, via Bears Insider)
- Jay Cutler, quarterback: Doubtful (right thumb)
- Kyle Fuller, cornerback: Questionable (knee)
- Eddie Goldman, nose tackle: Doubtful (ankle, changed to out, via Bears Insider)
- Alshon Jeffery, wide receiver: Questionable (knee)
- Bobby Massie, right tackle: Questionable (toe)
- Tracy Porter, cornerback: Questionable (knee)
- Chris Prosinski, safety: Questionable (calf)
- Josh Sitton, left guard: Questionable (shoulder)
- Will Sutton, nose tackle: Questionable (elbow)
- Danny Trevathan, linebacker: Out (thumb)
- Willie Young, linebacker: Questionable (knee)
That’s a lot questionable, doubtful and out tags. It’s been so bad, that Jared Dubin of CBS Sports reported that on Wednesday, the Bears actually listed half of their starters on the injury report. After such a brutal stretch for the Bears, it’s hard to imagine what the remainder of the season will look like. The Bears are quickly falling down to the cellar of the NFL and in many power rankings, their position dropped drastically after the 29-14 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
While the injuries are well-documented, the question is, are the Bears’ struggles more about injuries, or just about a team who lacks firepower on both offense and defense? When looking at the statistics, we already touched on the defense, but through just under two games, Cutler had completed just 60.9 percent of his passes for only 373 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He was also sacked eight times.
As for the run game, starter Jeremy Langford has been far below average, rushing 28 times for 85 yards, but two touchdowns have saved his day in each of the first two games.
So between Cutler, Langford and the play of the offensive line, it’s tough to argue that this Bears team wasn’t destined for a tough year from the word go. It’s disappointing as some believed that the Bears were going to be a sleeper pick to push for a Wild Card spot this year. Unfortunately, heading into Week 3, Bears fans, analysts and just general NFL fans alike, are all expecting the Bears to have a high chance of looking at a top draft pick.
The Bears need something to turn this season around before it gets out of control, but all of the injuries aren’t going to make life any easier. After possibly the Cleveland Browns, no NFL team has seen injuries deplete their roster and tear apart their season the way that it has for the Bears.