Bears locker room emotional after loss to Commanders on TNF

Bears share heartbreak after tough loss to Commanders originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

It was a somber scene in the Bears locker room following their 12-7 loss to the Commanders on Thursday Night Football. There wasn’t a ton of talking. Those who did, spoke in hushed tones huddled around a locker. Some players simply sat, still fully dressed in their uniforms, unmoving, deep in thought.

The Bears had plenty of chances to win, they simply couldn’t execute when it mattered.

“We always get told that we’re almost there, we’re almost there,” said Justin Fields. “Me, personally, I’m tired of being almost there. I’m tired of being just this close. I feel like I’ve been hearing it for so long now, but at the end of the day all you can do is get back to work.”

DeAndre Houston-Carson was one of the guys just sitting silently for a long time at his locker. When asked about it, Houston-Carson had a simple explanation: “I’m hurting.”

“You love the game and you love your teammates,” Houston-Carson said. “I’m hurting for my teammates. I want to see us succeed. We put a lot of work into this.”

There’s ample blame to go around for the loss. Velus Jones Jr.’s second muffed punt in three games set up the Commanders game-winning touchdown. The offensive line struggled to protect Justin Fields all night. Khalil Herbert couldn’t gain one yard for a goal line touchdown on a fourth down carry. But the one play that made Fields mad was his overthrown ball to Ryan Griffin in the endzone from just three yards out.

“He prolly could’ve ran a little bit more, but he’s wide open,” Fields said. “I’ve got to hit that. I’m an NFL quarterback. I’ve got to hit that.”

Undoubtedly the biggest heartbreak came from the final offensive play for the Bears. On 4th-and-goal from the four-yard line, Darnell Mooney drew man coverage and beat his defender in the endzone. Fields saw he was open and put the ball right on his hands. But Mooney lost the ball in the lights and bobbled the catch. When he eventually came down with the ball, he was inches short of the goal line.

Turnover on downs.

After speaking with the media, Mooney sat down next to Justin Fields in Trevor Siemian’s empty locker, presumably to rehash the play. Before long Luke Getsy joined and the trio shared a quiet conversation, again, presumably about what had just happened. After a few minutes Getsy patted Fields on the leg, gave his QB a sidearmed hug and left. Mooney went to hit the showers. Fields slunk back in his locker to get ready for his own press conference.

“I felt like we scored,” said Jaquan Brisker. “When I was watching it I thought we scored.”

That was a common theme among players who saw the play from the sideline. They thought Mooney had caught the ball to complete the comeback and to help erase the night’s negativity. As it became clear that Mooney fell short of the endzone, however, their frustration redoubled.

It wasn’t just one moment that led to the Bears loss. There were many moments. But Equanimeous St. Brown only needed one sentence to sum up the evening:

“We’re supposed to win that.”

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