LAKE FOREST – After Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest during a game Monday in Buffalo, Matt Eberflus is facing a challenge this week with his Bears’ team at Halas Hall.
Along with preparing for the team’s final game of the 2022 season, he’s also making sure that everyone is watching out for their mental health after the traumatic situation involving the Bills’ safety.
That includes Eberflus, who made clear in his news conference at Halas Hall Wednesday that the team as a whole continues to prioritize that as practice begins for the Vikings.
“I’m concerned more about them as individuals right now,” said Ebeflus when asked about his thoughts on if it would be hard for players to focus on preparing for the season finale in light of Hamlin’s situation. “I would just say that, again, time, working through things, give them the space to be able to do that and really process what’s going on.
“As we get back to our business in terms of walking through and walking through plays and all of that and then we’ll work into tomorrow.”
The Bears held a walkthrough session on Wednesday before holding normal practices on Thursday and Friday ahead of the game at Soldier Field. While watching how they perform in various drills and scrimmage situations, Eberflus want the coaches and team to be watching how players handle the week mentally.
That includes having team mental health clinician Carla Suber available for players who need it.
“Just the concerns of where they are in their mental space right now. The reaction that a player has or anybody has about that situation is OK,” said Eberflus. “It’s all going to be different, every person’s different, and that’s OK to be that way. We just said that we’re here, supportive. I told the guys that have leadership and lean on each other to talk through it and visit today about it.
“We’re certainly offering up Carla to help after practice if need be if they want to take advantage of that”
As the leader of the team on the field, Ebeflus himself is trying to make sure that he’s open to talk should a player need it.
“I do want to listen to all their feelings. That to me is important,” said EberflusThe relationship that we built, not only with me and the players but also the players with the players and players and coaches, so we certainly want to hear what their concerns are.”