The 2-1 Chicago Bears will hit the road to play the 2-1 New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in a Week 4 matchup. Here’s what you need to know before kickoff (noon, Fox-32).
Get the latest news | Get Brad Biggs’ 10 thoughts first | Get our free Bears alerts
The Bears likely will have a new kicker for Sunday’s game against the Giants.
The team announced it signed Michael Badgley to the practice squad Saturday morning, and he was elevated to the game-day roster as Cairo Santos did not travel with the team.
Santos missed practices Thursday and Friday for personal reasons, and the team designated him as questionable for the game.
Running back David Montgomery (ankle) did not practiced this week and was ruled out on Friday’s injury report. Cornerback Jaylon Johnson (quad) and defensive back Dane Cruikshank (hamstring) were ruled out for the Week 4 game.
Defensive end Robert Quinn, who was out Thursday with an illness, was on the field Friday and listed as questionable.
5 things to watch — plus our Week 4 predictions
Saquon Barkley is looking more like his old self than the one who was limited to 181 carries for 627 yards in 15 games the last two seasons because of injuries.
The Giants running back has 53 carries for 317 yards and two touchdowns over three games, including 164 rushing yards against the Tennessee Titans in Week 1. Stopping Barkley will be a big task for a Bears run defense that has allowed 157 rushing yards per game.
On the flip side, the Bears running game is second-best in the NFL with 186.7 rushing yards per game. Khalil Herbert didn’t miss a beat when top running back David Montgomery went down against the Houston Texans last week, totaling 157 yards and two touchdowns.
New rejuvenated spirit for Jackson — and same bold confidence
Eddie Jackson feels new energy under the changed coaching staff and roster. And the “fresh start” coaches touted for him in the spring has led to two interceptions in the first three games of 2022. The team vibe is one Jackson hopes pushes him back to the playmaking prowess that resulted in 10 interceptions and five touchdowns in his first three seasons.
Not that he ever thought it was gone, even after a couple of years of loss on and off the field.
“I always knew what type of player I am,” Jackson told the Tribune. “My coaches, players, teammates, everyone knows. It never was a thing where my head was held low.”
Should the Bears have hired Brian Daboll?
As one of 10 new head coaches this season — and one of five without NFL head coaching experience — Brian Daboll remains in the early stages of building his program, articulating his vision and resetting the Giants’ culture.
Like his coaching opponent this weekend, Matt Eberflus of the Chicago Bears, Daboll is aware the 2022 season will require substantial patience and a surplus of resolve as a rebuilding team low on talent experiences the inevitable performance dips and mental funks that accompany the big-win highs.
More passing game issues for Bears
QB Justin Fields has attempted the fewest passes by a starting quarterback each week this season, and it’s difficult to imagine the offense will be opened up anytime soon. According to the league’s Next Gen statistics, none of his 45 pass attempts this season has been into a tight window, reflective of his hesitancy to cut it loose.
He was 8 of 17 for 106 yards in Week 3 with two interceptions. Fields described his performance as “trash” afterward. A case can be made his first three weeks are the worst three-game stretch for a Bears quarterback since Caleb Hanie passed for 359 yards in Weeks 13-15 of the 2011 season. Hanie was the backup, not a quarterback the Bears traded up to select in Round 1.
The Giants defense, which uses a wide variety of pressures, could have some unscouted looks for the Bears when the teams meet Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Latest news from Arlington Heights
Residents of the northwest suburbs were skeptical about infrastructure changes and using taxpayer dollars to fund the Bears’ proposed redevelopment of Arlington Park International Racecourse at an event hosted by a pair of libertarian and conservative groups.
Advertised as a debate, “Don’t Feed the Bears …?” is the most recent in a string of initiatives by the libertarian political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity opposing the use of public money in any Bears-related development in Arlington Heights. The group is funded by the conservative billionaire Koch Brothers. The Heartland Institute also opposes using public money on the team.
Miss anything this week? Catch up before kickoff.