The Bears clearly have some problems with their roster. Here are a few things they can do to create some short-term solutions.
The Chicago Bears’ matchup versus the Los Angeles Rams was a disaster. Matt Nagy’s offense fell into complete shambles. There was no identity on that side of the ball. Many Bears fans are demanding that Nagy give up control of the play calling, but are there some roster adjustments that could solve these problems instead?
In terms of the team’s Week 8 matchup versus the New Orleans Saints, these changes probably won’t happen. For the 2020 Bears, however, adjustments must be made if the team believes they can be a playoff contending team. Here are three changes the team should consider doing.
1. Cut Ted Ginn Jr, promote Dwayne Harris
Ted Ginn Jr signed with the team this year to help replace Taylor Gabriel as a player who could stretch out the field. His job was immediately taken by rookie Darnell Mooney, though. Ginn is a total non-factor in this offense. He replaced Tarik Cohen as a punt returner, but he has been no help at all. He returned a total of five punts for 24 yards. The Bears need all the help they can get with field positioning.
Dwayne Harris can provide that help. A former 2011 sixth-round pick from the Dallas Cowboys, Harris has been a solid punt returner for multiple teams. He has averaged over 10 yards per punt return. The team should cut Ginn and replace him with Harris.
2. Activate Lamar Miller
Miller signed onto the team’s practice squad a few weeks back. Many speculated he would replace Cohen, but the veteran running back hasn’t been activated yet. Nagy stated that Miller is “getting close” to his debut, but that debut needs to come soon. Cordarrelle Patterson has taken the reps in his place but he hasn’t really worked out as a running back.
Teams are cueing in on the offense as a result. With Patterson in, the offense is too predictable. Patterson is talented, but his use on offense shouldn’t be as high. Miller can slot in and be the perfect backup behind David Montgomery. In 2018, he rushed for almost 1,000 yards: he’s a perfect workhorse who can also get involved in the passing game.
3. Shuffle Up the Offensive Line
The Bears offensive line has struggled this year. If this offense has any chance of success, it has to start down in the trenches. The team lost James Daniels to injury this year, and his replacement Rashaad Coward has not played well.
There are a few things the team could do. They could move Cody Whitehair back to guard. This would mean 2019 undrafted rookie Sam Mustipher would take over at center. Mustipher played respectfully when Whitehair went down during the Rams game.
The team also has 2019 undrafted rookie Alex Bars. Bars stepped in when Daniels went down and played pretty well. Either of these moves would be a better alternative than continuing to watch Coward get beat on every play. There’s no guarantee these switches will resolve anything, but the team needs to give Nick Foles, the run game, and the offense as a whole a better showing. If it doesn’t work, the team can then look to sign a veteran or make a last-minute trade at the trade deadline.
The Bears have a slew of injuries this week, so there is a chance that some changes happen. For the future of the season, however, the team needs to fix some things. The NFC is a competitive conference. If the Bears want to return as a top team, they need to address some of their problems and address them quickly.