CHICAGO – The broadcast only caught the end of it live, as two-dozen players started to scrum around the 35-yard line in the third quarter Sunday night at Soldier Field.
The replays would have to tell the story, and even then there was mystery.
Javon Wims appeared to do a “chain grab” on Saints’ defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson before punching him in the helmet. He’d then do another slap to the face before the players began to brawl, prompting the question of why would he would have gone so aggressively after his opponent.
Earlier in the drive, Gardner-Johnson put his finger underneath the facemask of fellow receiver Anthony Miller. Perhaps that was the reason, yet on Monday, another possible explanation was brought up.
Per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, Wims told the team that Gardner-Johnson spat on him and ripped out his mouthpiece. The second part was confirmed on a closer look at the previous play.
Either way, Wims faces possible discipline from the Bears and the NFL, with a possible suspension looming. He’ll, no pun intended, have to roll with the punches that his created.
Maybe that’s a way think about this start to the Bears’ season in general, which officially reaches halftime after 26-23 loss to the Saints in overtime that features a lot of the same things we’ve seen the past two months.
Inconsistent offense that sometimes starts strong or bad, then finishes fast or slow. On Sunday, you saw both, with the Bears taking a ten-point lead then rallying from a ten-point deficit to force overtime.
You saw Nick Foles have some more communication issues with Matt Nagy, leading to a delay of game early in the third quarter and other moments of confusion. After the game, Nagy talked about getting used to a wristband that Foles has on him for plays, a change for the coach that each is trying to work through.
“Yeah, I mean, we just have to communicate better, and that’s something that we’ll have to talk about as we go forward,” said Foles. “That’s something that we as players and coaches will get together and figure out where the issues are lying because I don’t have an answer for you.
” I know that each game we’ve had a couple instances that haven’t — the communication hasn’t been well, so we have to figure out what’s going on.”
Meanwhile, the red hot Cairo Santos, who hit three more field goals on Sunday to bring his streak to 11, and the defense will continue to be productive. Sometimes that will be enough to win, as it was in five of the games so far, while others it will fall short, like three games this fall.
Oh, and like every other team in the league, they continue to try and stay safe and COVID-19 free in a pandemic. That daily challenge can’t be overlooked.
Either way, get ready to roll with the punches for the next few rounds. Who knows where the Bears might be when they go the distance at the end of 2020.