Bears roster risers and fallers after loss to Lions in NFL Week 10

Bears risers, fallers after disappointing loss to Lions originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

In a game as wild as Sunday’s matchup between the Bears and the Lions there are plenty of big time performers, and players who didn’t do enough to contribute to a win. These are the biggest risers and fallers from Week 10.

RISERS

JUSTIN JONES

From the first drive of the game, Jones brought the most energy on the defensive side of the ball. All season the Bears have been searching for consistent pressure from the middle of their line and Jones delivered against the Lions. He was strong against the run and forced some Jared Goff incompletions with pressures, even though he was unable to get home for a sack. Jones finished his day with three tackles, including two TFLs and one QB hit.

JOE THOMAS

With Roquan Smith in Baltimore and Jack Sanborn moving to middle linebacker, Thomas has seen the field more over the past two weeks, and has made the most of his opportunity. Against the Lions, Alan Williams dialed up a Thomas blitz on the first defensive play of the game, and Thomas came through by batting down a Jared Goff pass. It worked so well that Williams dialed up another Thomas rush later in the half, and Thomas came through with another batted ball. The Bears don’t go with three linebackers often, but they’ll feel good about their base package moving forward when they need to use it.

DANTE PETTIS

Even with Byron Pringle returning, and last week’s addition of Chase Claypool, Dante Pettis remained locked in as the No. 3 wide receiver against the Lions. Pettis’ numbers don’t pop off the page: one reception for nine yards and one rush for eight yards. But he’s reliable when his number is called and converted one first down with those two touches. Pettis’ biggest impact came on special teams where he returned three punts for 44 yards. Put all of that together, and that’s why Velus Jones Jr. remained a healthy scratch.

JACK SANBORN

Sanbron impressed Bears coaches and fans alike with steady play in his first NFL start last week. He played even better against the Lions. Sanborn displayed good gap integrity in run defense, and great speed chasing down plays to make tackles. He ended up leading the team with 12 stops. Most impressive was his ability to replace Roquan Smith as a pass-rushing linebacker. Sanborn brought Jared Goff down twice and tacked on two more TFLs. He’ll have every opportunity over the second half of the season to show he should be considered a part of the Bears future.

FALLERS

CAIRO SANTOS

Cairo Santos is usually the most reliable player on the Bears. He’s been money in practically every kicking situation for the team this season, but he uncharacteristically misfired several times against the Lions. First, Santos put a ball out of bounds, giving the Lions a short field for free. The defense bailed him out on that possession, so it didn’t cost the team any points. A little later, Santos missed an opportunity for one big point on an extra-point kick attempt. Santo missed two point-after tries in Week 1 when winds were howling at Soldier Field, but besides that he’d been perfect. It’s not a cause for long-term concern, but it loomed large on Sunday.

N’KEAL HARRY AND VELUS JONES JR.

The Bears wide receiver room has gotten crowded all of a sudden, and N’Keal Harry and Velus Jones Jr. are the currently the odd ones out. This is the second week in a row the Bears made Jones Jr., the team’s third-round pick in this year’s draft, inactive. Jones Jr. has struggled with ball security as a punt returner, and muffed two punts in critical moments. He’s also had a tough time breaking in with the offense. Meanwhile Harry’s role in the offense as a big-bodied receiver seems to be Chase Claypool’s job now. Harry’s snap count dropped drastically in Week 9, which was Claypool’s first week with the team. The Bears decided to leave him on the sidelines entirely one week later.

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