Chicago Bears QB Tyson Bagent is confident executing the game plan in his 2nd start: ‘I don’t want to put any limits’
The nerves are still there for Tyson Bagent this week. But that’s a normal part of the process for the Chicago Bears undrafted rookie, not an exception as he prepares to make his second NFL start Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Bagent always has what he calls “nerved-up” energy flowing through him during game weeks when he’s off the field, a product of homing in on the details of what he needs to learn ahead of a practice or a game.
When he gets on the field, that melts away into the confidence that has impressed teammates. “On my way home from the facility, I’m just kind of thinking about what I need to study tonight,” Bagent said. “And I just am kind of eager to get it done and learned and my mind wrapped around it, so I’m able to go the next day.
” It’s understandable if Bagent is charged up this week as he transitions from earning a win in his first NFL start against the Las Vegas Raiders to preparing to play on national television Sunday night against the Chargers. Bagent garnered a lot of attention with his story of playing at Division II Shepherd in West Virginia to starting in place of injured quarterback Justin Fields on Sunday. He completed 21 of 29 passes for 162 yards, one touchdown, no turnovers and one sack to help the Bears earn just their fifth victory in the last two seasons.
He was on the phone with someone from Huntington, W. Va. , on Tuesday, who informed him that according to research, Bagent is the first born-and-bred West Virginia quarterback to start in the NFL.
Bagent called it “amazing. ” “You just think about how long they’ve been playing in the NFL, how many people have gone through the NFL,” Bagent said. “So when you can still be the first to do something in this league that’s been around so long and had so many people come through it, it’s definitely an honor and something that’s really crazy and wild to think about.
” The attention is about to get bigger this week. Fields is expected to be sidelined again as he recovers from his right thumb injury. That leaves the Bears to try to build on what Bagent did against the Raiders facing a Chargers defense that boasts what Bagent called “generational players” in outside linebacker Khalil Mack and safety Derwin James.
The Bears asked Bagent to execute a conservative game plan against the Raiders, relying on the running game and short passes. But Bagent doesn’t feel like he is boxed into such a plan, saying he’d be confident in whatever the Bears called, including more vertical passes. “Whatever I’m asked to do from the coaches is what we’ll get done and what will happen,” he said.
“So I don’t want to put any limits anywhere. ” His Bears teammates expect to see that confidence again from him this week. “He’s just got this cool kind of swagger about him,” wide receiver DJ Moore said.
“When he comes in the huddle, he’s confident, loud and makes everybody feel like, ‘OK, we’ve got a chance to go execute on this play. ’ And he does that every time he steps in the huddle. Every play was pretty good last week with him, and I’m looking forward to seeing him do it again this week.
” Running back D’Onta Foreman carried a scepter into the Bears locker room Wednesday afternoon after winning the NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” award for “Angry Runs” for his performance against the Raiders. Foreman was also voted by fans as the FedEx Ground NFL player of the week for his performance, which included 16 carries for 89 yards and two touchdowns and three catches for 31 yards and a touchdown. “I definitely do think my physicality brings energy to the team,” he said.
“They kind of feed off my energy when I’m going out there and doing what I do. I just want to focus on getting better each week. ” The awards came after Foreman was inactive for four weeks earlier this season because Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson pushed him out of the game-day roster mix.
Johnson returned to practice in full Wednesday after he was out for two weeks with a concussion. But Herbert is still out with an ankle injury. “There are a lot of other great running backs and a lot of good competition,” Foreman said.
“I take nothing away from those guys. They push me each and every day to continue to excel and get better and better. It’s part of how it goes.
I’ve been on three different teams, so I’ve had to prove myself to three different organizations. When I get my opportunity to do so, I feel like I handle myself and carry myself in a way that they believe and trust in me. I just want to continue to grow and build on that.
” The Bears designated left tackle Braxton Jones to return from injured reserve after he missed five games with a neck injury. Jones was limited in practice and has 21 days to return to the active roster. Coach Matt Eberflus said the Bears are looking at Jones’ functionality and conditioning as they determine whether he can return this week.
The Bears also designated defensive lineman Khalid Kareem (hip) to return. Fields, right tackle Darnell Wright (shoulder/toe), safety Jaquan Brisker (illness), cornerback Terell Smith (mononucleosis) and guard Nate Davis (ankle) didn’t practice Wednesday. Safety Eddie Jackson (foot) and offensive lineman Dan Feeney (knee) were limited.