The Chicago Bears will face the Detroit Lions for a Thanksgiving game on Thursday, but the game comes amid an odd week filled with rumors that could have a big impact on the team.
Here’s a look back at everything that happened this week and what fans should know ahead of the Bears-Lions Thanksgiving Showdown:
Could Matt Nagy be sacked?
In the middle of a short week of preparation, a bomb hit the internet on Tuesday morning when Patch.com reporter Mark Konkol reported that Matt Nagy had already been told Thursday’s game against the Lions would be his last as as head coach of the Bears.
According to Konkol, the Bears told Nagy he was going to be fired on Monday.
During Nagy’s regular meeting with the media the same day, Nagy claimed the report was “inaccurate” while touting her “excellent communication” with leaders within the Bears organization.
Nagy also noted that he had not addressed the report with the players, saying they had been great.
Special teams coach Chris Tabor, who served as head coach while Nagy was away from the team in COVID-19 protocols, gave Nagy his support.
“Coach Nagy is our head coach. I want to work for this guy now, okay? Love him to death and he’s the head coach of the Chicago Bears and he will lead us to a win on Thursday. I believe it in the bottom of my heart, ”Tabor said Tuesday at Halas Hall. “So for me there is no story at all. Fair enough? “
It’s worth noting that the Bears have never fired a mid-season coach before in their 101-year history.
But the harness gets even hotter. The Bears are on a long losing streak for the second straight season. The offensive continued to struggle despite Nagy’s resumption of offense.
It would be a quick fall from grace for Nagy, who was hired in 2018, led the Bears to their first NFC North title since 2008 and won the Coach of the Year award.
If he is fired after Thanksgiving, Nagy will end his tenure at the Bears with a winning record. It currently sits at 31-27.
What is the status of the bear locker room?
In the moments between the heartbreaking loss to the Ravens and the shocking report that the team were on the verge of sacking Nagy after their Thanksgiving game, there was another tweet that created a buzz around town.
While this was a juicy report in and of itself, it carried even more weight given Schultz’s connection to Robinson. Over the summer, Schultz and Robinson co-hosted an NBA Playoffs podcast, and given that relationship, people made the obvious leap that Robinson was one of the Bears who told Schultz that there was unrest in the ranks at Halas Hall.
“This stuff is very difficult,” said Robinson. ” Certainly. It’s difficult because obviously me and him have a podcast, putting myself in a very vulnerable situation and stuff like that. This conversation, it was definitely had.
Robinson said he had no input to the tweet and said when he and Schultz spoke it was all about basketball. He also made sure to say that if he had something to say, he would say it himself.
” You know me. Everything I wanted to convey came from me, and it will always be so. It will never change. All I want to accomplish I mean I’m a grown man. I can do things myself.
“I have my social platforms. I have my own voice. I sit in front of you every week and talk. I never have to hide behind someone else to get out.
Tashaun Gipson also denied that there were any problems in the locker room.
“I think everyone in the locker room loves playing for Nagy,” said Gipson.
Even with rumors buzzing through Chicago, Gipson said he and his teammates remained focused on the task at hand, not the noise outside.
“I don’t see any distractions on this tip from guys talking about what they’ve heard or what’s going on,” Gipson said. “We just can’t wait to win a football game. And I think that’s more the case with the conversations that take place.
“The energy is business as usual. “
What could Thursday’s game mean for Nagy and the Bears?
Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor said he knew nothing about the news of Nagy’s impending dismissal, but recounted this anecdote:
“I was in the locker room before a game when a well-known national insider announced that our coach was not coming back. The players were on their phones to receive messages. I’m not saying that’s the only reason we lost that day, but we played like shit that day. And, at the end of the year, not only was he not fired, but he got a new contract. And we are still awaiting an apology from this national insider. So the first thing I can do is my job, which is to beat the Lions, period.
Lazor didn’t mention the team or the reporter, but the offensive coordinator was on staff for the Cincinnati Bengals on December 17, 2017, when ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced that then head coach Marvin Lewis, “was planning to leave the Bengals after the season to look for opportunities elsewhere. The Bengals lost to the Vikings 34-7 that day, but managed to win their last two games of the season and Lewis ultimately signed a two-year extension after the season. He was fired after the 2018 season.
On the flip side, if Nagy really hadn’t spoken to the property this week, that apparently changed after speaking to the media on Tuesday.
The Chicago Tribune reported that he met the owner before the team’s second afternoon visit, briefed the team on that meeting, and then canceled the rest of the meetings scheduled for Tuesday.
No matter how accurate the Patch.com report is, it’s not the type of Tuesday that happens for a short week for a franchise that’s under control.
If Nagy has indeed canceled the remaining meetings scheduled for Tuesday afternoon and evening, it is a staggering blow with only three days to prepare the Lions. There is no full training before these games on Thursday, so all the mental work counts.
Nagy – and in particular Tabor – were put in a difficult position by the way the organization handled an important story – true or not. As former Bears long snapper Patrick Mannelly perfectly put it on Twitter Tuesday night, the organization hasn’t done its job of helping the Bears beat the Lions.
What about injuries?
Still battling a rib injury from starting quarterback Justin Fields, Nagy has confirmed that Andy Dalton will start against the Lions and Fields is unlikely to be active, meaning Nick Foles will be the replacement.