Wed Nov 13 4:23pm ET
By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy walks onto the field before an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Detroit Lions defensive end Trey Flowers (90) sacks Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) during the second half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Detroit Lions running back Ty Johnson (31) is brought down by Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller (23), linebacker Danny Trevathan (59) and Leonard Floyd (94) during the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) The Chicago Bears took a big step toward the NFC North championship and their first playoff appearance since 2010 when they shut down Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams last year at Soldier Field.
This time, they're simply trying to build some momentum.
The Bears come into the rematch at Los Angeles on Sunday at least breathing a little easier after beating Detroit 20-13 last week to stop a four-game losing streak.
''We're not exactly where we want to be yet,'' quarterback Mitchell Trubisky said Wednesday. ''But a win definitely gives you confidence moving forward because at the end of the day, no matter what you did, you came away with the result you wanted. And that's a win. So we just, we've still got find ways to pull together, continue to work harder and get better and try to go 1-0 this week.''
The struggling Trubisky tied a season high with three touchdown passes and the Bears (4-5) got the win they needed. They hung on when Jeff Driskel, filling in for the injured Matthew Stafford, overthrew Marvin Jones Jr. in the end zone as time expired on a play that wouldn't have counted because he got called for an illegal forward pass.
The Bears went long stretches in that game without moving the ball, though they got touchdowns on three straight possessions in the second and third quarters. They lost another important player on defense when Danny Trevathan suffered what looked like a gruesome elbow injury. And they nearly blew a 14-point lead.
''During the course of the season, there are ups and downs,'' receiver Allen Robinson said. ''But it does feel good to come out with a win.''
That's something the Bears hadn't done since a 16-6 victory over Minnesota at home in Week 4. But as good as it felt to come out on top, their defense took another big hit with Trevathan getting hurt. His left arm got bent awkwardly as he tried to sack Driskel.
The team leader with 50 tackles, Trevathan ran off with his arm dangling by his side and into an uncertain future. He has an expiring contract and could be headed to injured reserve, though Nagy said Wednesday that's still to be decided. He also said he wasn't sure if Trevathan will need surgery.
Tight end Trey Burton, who has been limited by a groin injury all season, also hurt his calf in the game against the Lions. And Nagy had no update on him.
As for Trevathan?
''He is a leader on our team, and never steers us in the wrong direction,'' running back Tarik Cohen said. ''I would say so. DT controls the direction of the team. He never lets us bend or break, and he always brings people together.''
Despite losing Trevathan, the Bears held Detroit to 98 yards rushing on 27 attempts. Lions running backs had just 61 yards on 22 rushes.
With Trevathan down, Nick Kwiatkoski set up a touchdown with his first career interception and had a sack. He also played well filling in for Roquan Smith earlier in the season. But with defensive tackle Akiem Hicks on IR with an elbow injury that will sideline him until at least next month, the Bears are missing two disruptive players in the middle. They're also down two leaders.
''It's hard, just because there is so much (energy) between the two,'' Nagy said. ''Just their personalities in general. They're both a little bit different, with how they handle their personalities, but they're very similar on the field, leadership-wise. As we move forward here, we'll have guys that are always ready and prepared and the coaches will have them the same way.''
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said that the team would like to have three running backs sharing the load in 2020. "D.J. was banged up last year," Kingsbury said. "We think he has a good skill set. But that's an area that we'd like to have three. You saw we got to (using) a third (running back in 2019). We'd like to have three that we feel like we could roll through and not lose much." Kenyan Drake, who signed his transition tender, will see the majority of touches, but Chase Edmonds and D.J. Foster will also get some work. Drake was one of the best running backs in the league after his trade over from the Dolphins, and he'll be a coveted RB1 in fantasy circles with Arizona's offense looking more explosive with the addition of receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Edmonds will merely be a handcuff for those that take Drake early in drafts.
The Kansas City Chiefs agreed to an undisclosed one-year deal with running back DeAndre Washington on Wednesday, according to a source. Washington was drafted in the fifth round by the Raiders back in 2016 and has rushed the ball 282 times for 1,122 yards (4.0 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns in his four years in the NFL. He's also added 88 catches on 110 targets for 613 yards and another score in 55 career games (five starts). The 27-year-old had 108 rushing attempts for 387 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games last year (three starts). He'll provide depth for the Chiefs backfield behind Damien Williams while also competing for touches with Darwin Thompson and Darrel Williams. He finds himself in an even more crowded backfield, meaning that it's unlikely Washington will yield any fantasy help.
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said that wide receiver A.J. Green (ankle) is "fully healthy" and has been working out in Atlanta. It's good news after Green missed the entire 2019 season. He's scheduled to make around $18 million in 2020 on the franchise tag, but we may not get to see him until later this summer due to restrictions amid the coronavirus. Green will turn 32 in July and has played in just nine games in the last two seasons due to injuries. But he was a Pro Bowler each of his first seven seasons in the league from 2011 to 2017, surpassing the 1,000-yard receiving mark six times. He'll likely have rookie quarterback Joe Burrow throwing him passes in 2020, which could make fantasy owners even more hesitant to draft Green as even a WR2.
The Los Angeles Chargers remain "very high on" running back Justin Jackson. Melvin Gordon is now playing for the Broncos, so there will be more opportunity for Jackson behind Austin Ekeler moving forward. Jackson, a seventh-round pick by the Bolts in 2018, has rushed 79 times for 406 yards (5.1 yards per carry) and two touchdowns in his 20 games (one start) in two seasons for the Chargers. The soon-to-be 25-year-old also has 24 catches for 157 yards in his two years in the league. Ekeler should take over workhorse duties in this backfield with Gordon gone, but Jackson will have a role as a change-of-pace back and could be a great value pick late in fantasy drafts this fall.
There's a chance that the Los Angeles Chargers look to trade cornerback Desmond King. King is seemingly a man without a position now that the Bolts signed Chris Harris Jr. to defend the slot in the middle of the field in 2020. Casey Hayward and Michael Davis can work on the outside, so it remains to be seen what the team will do with King if they hold onto him. The 25-year-old fifth-round pick in 2017 was a first-team All-Pro in 2018 when he had a career-high three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown). King had 51 tackles (40 solo) and two passes defensed without an interception in 15 games (eight starts) in 2019. He could be part of a draft-day trade if the Chargers indeed move him.
Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines is expected to get "plenty more action" in the offense this season, in the opinion of The Athletic's Zak Keefer. And that could translate into much more fantasy success with new quarterback Philip Rivers under center, a veteran signal-caller who isn't afraid to dump the ball off to his pass-catching backs. Hines, 23, ran the ball just 52 times for 199 yards and two touchdowns behind Marlon Mack in 2019, adding 44 receptions for 320 yards. Both his rushing and receiving marks were down from his rookie season in 2018 when he was playing with Andrew Luck. With an offense that should attack more under Rivers, Hines could be a nice PPR sleeper late in drafts.
The Cincinnati Bengals have high expectations for tight end Drew Sample to take a "significant jump" in his second year with the team, especially with Tyler Eifert no longer in town. Sample caught just five passes on six targets for 30 yards in nine games (two starts) in his rookie season and he was drafted as mostly a blocking tight end. C.J. Uzomah will be the team's primary pass-catcher at the position, but Sample will inevitably see more snaps on offense and should see his offensive numbers take a sizeable rise over his rookie season. The soon-to-be 24-year-old former second-round pick could become interesting in dynasty/keeper leagues with the Bengals expected to take LSU QB Joe Burrow with the first overall pick later this month.
Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler had an 85.2 percent catch percentage last season, which was the best rate of anyone with 45 receptions.
Fantasy Spin: Ekeler had just one drop and 92 grabs for 993 yards. He rushed 132 times for 557 yards (4.2 yards per carry) as well, and with Melvin Gordon gone, he should remain one of the top five backs in PPR.
Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr has seen his teammates drop 216 passes over the course of his six-year career - the most drops a quarterback has witnessed over that span.
Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup was charged with 11 drops in 2019 - the second-highest total in the league.
New Orleans Saints RB Latavius Murray averaged 2.7 yards before contact per rushing attempt in 2019 - tied for the sixth-best average among qualified rushers last season.
San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle was charged with only two drops on 107 targets in 2019. He was one of only five players in the league with at least 100 targets - regardless of position - to finish with a drop rate below two percent.
Las Vegas Raiders TE Darren Waller was credited with eight broken tackles on his 90 catches in 2019 - tied with George Kittle for the second-highest total among tight ends.
Denver Broncos LB Von Miller has forced 640 quarterback pressures over the past decade, which are 40 more than any other player within that time.
Updating a previous story, free-agent WR Cody Latimer (Giants) officially signed an undisclosed contract with the Washington Redskins Tuesday, April 7.
Fantasy Spin: Latimer set career-highs with 24 receptions and 300 yards with the New York Giants in 2019. He has a viable path to a notable role within the Washington offense and could become a streaming option by mid-season.
Updating a previous story, free-agent DB P.J. Williams (Saints) officially signed an undisclosed contract with the New Orleans Saints Tuesday, April 7.
Updating a previous story, Dallas Cowboys TE Blake Bell officially signed Tuesday, April 7. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Updating a previous story, free-agent DB Damarious Randall (Browns) officially signed with the Las Vegas Tuesday, April 7. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Updating a previous story, free-agent LB Reggie Ragland (Chiefs) officially signed with the Detroit Lions Tuesday, April 7. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Updating a previous story, free-agent DB Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Bears) officially signed with the Dallas Cowboys Tuesday, April 7. Official terms of the deal were not disclosed.