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Analysis Bears

Bears-Eagles Wild Card Week Mailbag

The Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles will face-off this Sunday afternoon. Jack Soble answers questions about the game here.

As the Bears get set to face the Eagles, we at The Loop Sports thought we’d take a couple questions from our readers. Here is what you guys asked, and my responses.

Anthony Miller‘s shoulder has popped out of its socket twice this season. The first instance was during Chicago’s week three matchup against the Cardinals. He returned following a one-week absence against Tampa Bay and the Bears’ bye week and has been playing in a shoulder harness ever since.

Head coach Matt Nagy seemed to think that Miller would be fine to return against Philadelphia, which is significant given that the Eagles have major injury issues in their secondary and the Bears are going to want to do everything they can to attack it.

Long term, my initial thought was that Miller is almost certainly going to need offseason shoulder surgery. Once a shoulder pops out more than once, it is likely going to continue popping out again and again until surgery is performed. The only way to stop it from doing so is by wearing that harness. I am not a doctor, but luckily David J. Chao, MD (@profootballdoc on twitter) is and he said that yes, surgery is “inevitable, though at this point that seems likely to come after the Bears’ playoff run is finished.”

After surgery, Miller should be good to go for next season.

Yes, Josh Bellamy is an excellent special teams player. I thought that he had a bit of a down year specials-wise in 2017, which likely had something to do with having to handle a large receiving role, but he has thrived in a more natural niche this season.

He also blocks quite well. Look no further than early on Sunday in Minnesota, where he sprung Jordan Howard for a huge run with an outstanding crackback block:

Bellamy block

As a receiver, they like his speed on an occasional bubble screen, and while he obviously isn’t cut out for a leading role in an offense, he does everything the coaches ask of him well. It says a great deal that both Matt Nagy and John Fox, two head coaches with two very different offensive philosophies, both rave about how much Bellamy helps the team. “Beezo” also has a reputation of being a great teammate and is the DJ at Club Dub.

While I think Javon Wims is a better pure receiver than Bellamy and has more potential to be an offensive weapon, Bellamy is active on game day and Wims is not because of blocking and special teams.

It’s never too early to think about the draft, even as the highest selection that the Bears will make will be in the 80s or 90s.

The Bears have a few positions that they could address early. I do think they target a running back at some point during the offseason AND keep Jordan Howard around for at least another year. Their insistence on using Taquon Mizzell for a few plays each game indicates that Nagy would prefer a three-headed monster at the running back spot. Pace has obviously been very successful at identifying talent at that position outside the first few rounds.

I would like to see them draft a guard at some point as Kyle Long insurance (or his replacement). If the Bears can’t resign Bobby Massie or a suitable substitute, tackle is a dire need as well.

I also want an extra edge rusher, especially with Aaron Lynch set to hit free agency. You can never have enough of them, and if Lynch walks, they’re going to need one who can defend the run and give Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd a break every now and then.

The main one is the last sentence of the tweet. Anyone going to the Bears game this weekend needs to be as loud as they possibly can when the Bears are on defense and to not make a sound when Mitch Trubisky and company are operating. Soldier Field has been among the most difficult places to play this season, and that shouldn’t change on Sunday.

Bear Down!

Follow Jack on Twitter @jacksobleTLS 

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