LAKE FOREST, Ill. — On a team where there is drama in a few places after a terrible start to the season, the biggest storyline at the moment concerns one of their wide receivers.
Fans didn’t see Chase Claypool in uniform or on the sidelines for the Bears on Sunday in the loss to the Broncos, and his absence will be extended.
During his news conference on Monday morning, head coach Matt Eberflus confirmed that the wide receiver will not be with the team this week as they prepare for a Thursday night game against the Commanders at FedEx Field at 7:15 p.m.
This comes after Claypool was a healthy scratch in the 31-28 loss to Denver at Soldier Field in which the Bears dropped to 0-4 on the season.
“We just feel that it’s best for the team at this time,” said Ebeflus of the decision to not have Claypool with the team this week, which he announced in his opening statement. “Ryan (Poles) and I have informed him of that, and that’s where it is. We just feel that’s best for the team right now.”
Why does the team feel that way?
“In the building, we feel that’s best for the team,” said Eberflus in response. “It really comes down to this. When you’re evaluating players, in meetings, in practice, in walk-throughs, all those things. It’s important that you evaluate the entire body of work, and we just feel that right now, Chase is gonna be out of the building it’s best for our football team.”
Eberflus wouldn’t say if this is a sign that that wide receiver’s tenure with the team is going to end soon, but it doesn’t bode well for the fourth-year player who arrived 11 months ago with the hope he’d help the team improve their passing attack.
Acquired in November 2022 from the Steelers for the Bears’ original 2023 second round pick in the NFL Draft, Claypool has struggled to find form with the team. In 10 games in Chicago, he’s made just 18 catches on 43 targets for 191 yards and a touchdown against the Buccaneers in Week 2.
After making just one catch for 15 yards in the Week 3 loss to the Chiefs, Claypool told reporters in the locker room on Friday that he felt he wasn’t being used right. He was told on Saturday by the Bears that he would be inactive and to not come to the game at Soldier Field on Sunday to be on the sidelines.