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Halas Intrigue Bears Report: What's the point?

Halas Intrigue Bears Report
The Bears’ season finale (and probably coach Matt Nagy’s last game) against the Vikings Sunday lost what little meaning it might have had when quarterback Justin Fields went on the reserve/COVID-19 list (noon Fox-32, 780-AM). Read the latest coverage and analysis below.

1. Unsatisfactory ending
To the very end, Justin Fields’ rookie season has been a total mess.
It has been so disrupted and dysfunction-riddled that it’s hard to tell if much has really been accomplished or if he’s essentially going to be a rookie all over again next season, playing in a new offense for a new coach.
The latest misfortune is that just as he was set to return from an ankle injury that kept him out the last two games, Fields tested positive for the coronavirus Thursday morning. That means it’s a near-certainty he’ll miss the season finale Sunday at the Vikings and cede his start meaninglessly to Andy Dalton or Nick Foles.
It’s another week of stalling Fields’ development. This game means nothing. Fields’ progress means everything.
Frustratingly fitting: Justin Fields’ choppy rookie season ends prematurely
2. On the homefront
Bears special teams coordinator Chris Tabor was watching the end of the Browns game Monday night with his wife Nikki when, in a quiet moment, she mentioned how many coaching staffs he was a part of in Cleveland. From 2011-17, Chris Tabor kept his job despite the firings of three different head coaches: Pat Shurmur, Rob Chudzinski and Mike Pettine.
“That was the only time we really talked about it,” he said Thursday.
Still, he knows the effect that job pressure has on his family members, and calls them resilient for dealing with it. That pressure will only ratchet up after Sunday’s season finale, when the Bears figure to fire head coach Matt Nagy. In most cases — though not all, as Tabor proved in Cleveland — firing a head coach means dismissing all his assistants too.
Coaches hear the rumors. So do their family members.
Bears coaches don’t seek sympathy for themselves at this time of year, but they do acknowledge what toll the uncertainty has on their families. Being part of a vanquished coaching staff means scrambling for employment, selling a house and moving to a new city. It means kids saying goodbye to their school friends.
Perhaps the only thing worse is the weeks of speculation that leads up to it.
“To say that you don’t think about it or feel it, it’s a lie,” quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo said last month. “Because you do. It’s more so for other people than yourself.”
Bears’ coaching uncertainty hard on families, even if it’s part of the job
3. Learning opportunity
It’s all about opportunity for almost any NFL player, and outside linebacker Trevis Gipson appears ready to take advantage. Though he was a fifth-round draft pick, Gipson had the advantage of not only coming into an established defense, but one with two of the best pass rushers in the NFL in Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn.
“It’s a great opportunity and a great blessing to play behind those two guys — two gold jackets [Hall of Fame] soon to be. I couldn’t ask for anything else. A lot of guys say, ‘I want to play. I want to do this and that.’ But I’m literally behind two pass rushers that probably are top five in the league. There’s technique, film — I get to watch their steps every day, from sun-up to sundown. I’m in a great position and I honestly couldn’t be more appreciative.”
Opportunity knocks, and Trevis Gipson answers
4. In other news
5. From the podcast
Jason Lieser, Patrick Finley and Mark Potash examine what Justin Fields’ stint on the COVID-19 list means for evaluating his season as coach Matt Nagy’s Bears tenure comes to a likely end Sunday in Minneapolis. LISTEN HERE.
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