Monster’s Mash: What will the Bears do during the anthem?
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – For a second-straight week, a number of fan’s eyes around the NFL will be on the sidelines during the National Anthem.
Since President Trump’s critical comments on protesting players last week, those in the league have had different demonstrations during The Star Spangled Banner to show unity while raising awareness of social issues in the country.
Many of those are expected to continue this week – and the nation’s eyes will first be on the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers as Week 4 begins.
Both teams open up play as they take to Lambeau Field for a Thursday night contest at 7 PM. Already the Packers have let it be known that they will lock arms for the playing of the anthem and have encouraged fans to do the same.
As for the Bears, many of the players were still unsure of what the team will do. Last week, the team stood on the sidelines and locked arms before their game against the Steelers at Soldier Field.
Prince Amukamara, who joined his teammates in locking arms last week, hopes the correct message of the demonstrations is getting through to those who watch. Initially began by Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers last year as a way to raise awareness for social issues, the cornerback hopes the point continues comes across that way.
“I think more attention has been on what the guys are doing rather than why were doing it,” said Amukamara. “It’s about social injustice and inequality and I think we’re just all hoping that message still stays pure.”
BACK IN THE BACK END OF THE DEFENSE
The progress of Adrian Amos is a bit backwards of what usually happens to a young player.
In his first two seasons with the Bears out of Penn State, the safety got the start in 30 out of 32 games as he found a home quickly in the starting lineup.
But the acquisition of Quintin Demps in the offseason moved Amos to a reserve role with his playing time significantly cut during the first three weeks. An injury to the starter – a broken forearm that will keep Demps out a while – has put Amos back into that role again.
He finished out the Steelers game filling in for Demps and will likely do the same until he returns. For Amos, the return to the lineup is welcome even if not in the best of circumstances.
“You don’t like to see anyone get injured,” said Amos of replacing Demps. “As a teammate, you know how much this means to him and everybody else, to have the opportunity to go out there and play football. I’m just trying to cherish the opportunity to play.”
INSPIRATION FROM THE BACKFIELD
A few times on Sunday, it appeared his day was about ready to come to an end.
Jordan Howard would fall hard on his ailing right shoulder, stay down for a bit, and then come back to the sidelines. Just when it appeared his day would come to an end, back came the second-year running back to make another big play.
It went on like this for most of the second half. Howard would get a hard hit to the shoulder, come off the field, return and make something happen. He’s rush for 140 yards on the afternoon with his last 19 being the most important – the game-winning touchdown run in overtime to seal a 23-17 Bears victory.
While his production certainly provided the most benefit, watching Howard battle through the pain to stay on the field had a positive effect on those around him. That included Kyle Long, who was playing in his first game in ten months on Sunday after a long recovery from an ankle injury.
“They call it ‘Juice.’ When a guy like that walks in the huddle, you get some ‘Juice,'” said Long of Howard returning despite being in pain. “You look across the huddle and he’s nodding at you and he’s looking at you and we’re all vibing off one another, that’s when you know things are going to happen.”
STAT OF THE WEEK: 7-to-1
The ratio of touchdowns-to-interceptions thrown by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers against Bears’ defense led by Vic Fangio in four games since 2015.
That interception came in the Bears’ Thanksgiving Night game against the Packers in 2015 and represents this coaching regime’s only win over Green Bay.