The Chicago Bears will face the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football with undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent under center.
That could have significant implications for wide receiver DJ Moore. He has had lackluster (by his standard of performance) showings in the three-plus games Bagent has been the one operating the offense. In the last two full games Justin Fields was at quarterback, Moore had 16 receptions on 19 targets for 361 yards and four touchdowns.
Tyson Bagent Gets Honest About DJ Moore Ahead of Bears-Panthers
Bears’ Tyson Bagent Not Overly Concerned With DJ Moore’s Targets
In three full games with Bagent, he has 15 receptions on 20 targets. But he has just 153 yards and no scores in that span. Moore said he was “a little upset” after the loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 8.
He followed that four-catch, 55-yard outing on five targets with a 3-44-0 line on six targets.
“I am conscious of the fact that DJ is our guy, and he’s our x-factor, and I’ve got to do a good job of getting him the ball,” Bagent said on Wednesday. “Other than that, I’m playing the play. I’m going through my progressions. I’m doing the best that I possibly can in order to move the chains and be successful as an offense.”
Moore leads the Bears with 735 yards on 47 receptions in 62 targets. All three categories lead the team.
The Bears also didn’t demand Moore be included in the trade for the No. 1 overall pick just for him to be the forgotten man in the pecking order. As it stands, Cole Kmet and even Darnell Mooney have gotten more looks within the offense.
“DJ is our guy,” Bagent said. “If you want to play one-on-one against DJ, you usually should pay for that. So as far as anything other than that, Mooney had a great game last week. But nothing in my head was like, ‘Oh, I gotta get the ball to Mooney. I gotta get the ball to Mooney. And the same thing with Cole. He’s had a lot of targets that past two games but never in my mind am I worried about how many times I need to get Cole Kmet the ball.”
D’Onta Foreman Looking to Produce vs. Panthers
Moore insisted that it would not be a big deal facing his former team, per Mark Grote of 670 The Score, sentiments not shared by D’Onta Foreman.
He will get his chance as the Bears declined to activate Khalil Herbert from injured reserve in his return from an ankle injury. Herbert practiced in full this past week. But only one of the practices was a regular session.
Foreman has rushed for 271 yards and two touchdowns on 60 carries in four games since being made active again.
Justin Fields Could Return vs. Lions in Week 11
Head coach Matt Eberflus said this week that Fields was progressing. He also noted that the quarterback has not suffered any setback in his rehab. The issue remains grip strength with Fields noting that he is wearing a glove because he doesn’t have to grip the ball as tightly during his media availability this week.
#Bears QB Justin Fields getting in some throws during today's practice.
— Clocker Sports (@ClockerSports) November 8, 2023
Eberflus also noted that there was a better chance Fields would have suited up if the game had been on Sunday. He agreed that the additional few days off should help Fields in his recovery.
The head coach has also been clear that it will be Fields under center once he is healthy.