Skip to main content

Week 12 opponent: What the Bears are saying

The Thanksgiving Day tradition started for Detroit in 1934 against the Chicago Bears. Now the two NFC North rivals match up again on Thanksgiving for the 19th time on Thursday. The Lions are looking for their first win of the season, while the Bears are looking to snap a five-game skid.

Here's what the Bears had to say this week ahead of Thursday's matchup:

1. Chicago is still "gathering the facts with everything" on the rib injury suffered by quarterback Justin Fields Sunday against Baltimore, according to Bears head coach Matt Nagy in his Monday presser.

The NFL Network reported late Monday night the expectation in Chicago is they'll start veteran Andy Dalton in place of Fields against Detroit. We'll see how that plays out in the coming days leading up to inactives and kickoff. Dalton connected on 11-of-23 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns for a 107.3 passer rating filling in for Fields Sunday.

2. Tight end Cole Kmet said the biggest obstacle for pass catchers like himself this week is trying to rekindle some timing with Dalton, if it is Dalton getting the start. Outside of the second half Sunday, the Bears' pass catchers haven't played with Dalton much since Week 1. Kmet said it's a challenge to balance out getting as many reps as they can with Dalton, while also being conscious of the short week and wanting some rest to make sure the body feels right for Thursday's 12:30 p.m. kickoff.

3. Linebacker Roquan Smith talked about the quick turnaround for a Thursday game being a little bit easier this week in that it's a familiar division opponent in Detroit who they've already played once this year.

Smith has been a beast for the Bears this season. He's coming off a 17-tackle performance against the Ravens, and now has 110 tackles this year in 10 games.

4. Cornerback Jaylon Johnson was asked if there's any comfort in knowing their next opponent is the winless Lions.

"No," Johnson said. "They are a really good team. They just haven't finished well. They have some good pieces that do some good things. There's definitely nobody you sleep on."

5. After 12-4, 8-8 and 8-8 seasons the last three years, the Bears currently sit at 3-7 after losing five straight. The pressure is ramping up on Nagy and his coaching staff to turn things around quickly, starting Thursday against Detroit. Nagy was forced to defend himself to Chicago reporters Monday asking about his job status.

"We have to keep fighting because we know where we're at," Nagy said. "The only thing that I and we can do is keep playing and keep coaching and keep doing everything we can to win. That's it."

6. Kmet said he does feel a sense of urgency in the locker room amongst the players with a five-game losing streak hanging over their heads.

"When we get to this week of work, we're going to be detailed in what we have to do in order to go out there and get a win on Thursday," he said.

Related Content