LAKE FOREST – When the Vikings beat the Chargers around 6 PM on Sunday night, the final two games of the season became only about pride and, perhaps, future evaluation.
Gone were any hopes of the Bears qualifying the 2019 NFL Playoffs, with the Minnesota win taking the team out of a shot for the sixth and final playoff spot in the NFC. Now the question for Matt Nagy became how to approach the contests against the Chiefs on Sunday and the Vikings on December 29th knowing that nothing standings-wise was on the line.
A key question was figuring out if a few players dealing with injuries would be kept on the active roster or reverted to injured reserve to begin offseason recovery programs earlier. On Wednesday, the Bears made one such decision on their linebacker.
#Bears roster moves:
We have placed LB Danny Trevathan on IR and have promoted DB Michael Joseph from the practice squad to the active roster. We also have signed WR Alex Wesley to the practice squad.
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) December 18, 2019
Linebacker Danny Trevathan, who suffered a serious elbow injury in the win over the Lions on November 10th, was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Wednesday. He was kept off the list for the past month-and-a-half in hopes of returning to the lineup, but he was never able to get healthy enough to make it happen.
Nick Kwiatkoski and Kevin Pierre-Louis will continue to fill in for him in the final two games of the season while also replacing Roquan Smith, who was placed on season-ending injured reserve last week.
This could mean the end of Trevathan’s time with the Bears since he’s a free agent coming up in 2020, leaving the team an interesting decision considering Kwiatkoski and Pierre-Louis’ strong play in his place. In 46 games with the Bears, Trevathan was a strong contributor to a growing defense, making 327 tackles with 15 for loss including six sacks, three forced fumbles, and three interceptions.
A similar decision for the Bears is looming on Akiem Hicks, who returned to the lineup after spending two months on IR with an elbow injury. While he got four tackles and two quarterback hits, the defensive end was in noticeable pain and made a pair of appearances in the injury tent due to elbow issues.