Meredith continues to impress in Bears loss
Chicago Bears wide receiver Cam Meredith had an impressive encore in Sunday's 17-16 loss to the Jaguars after last week's 9-catch, 130-yard effort in his first NFL start, which also produced his first TD.
Undrafted out of Illinois State in 2015, Meredith had game highs of 15 targets, 11 receptions and 113 yards against the Jaguars. His 17-yard reception down to the Jacksonville one-yard line set up the Bears' only touchdown.
"Coach (John) Fox always preaches, 'Next man up,' fellow wide receiver Alshon Jeffery said. "So he's stepping up big for us; making plays. We've always seen it in him. It's a surprise to you guys (the media), not to us."
Meredith was able to forge a chemistry with quarterback Brian Hoyer in the preseason when neither was working with the first team.
"I know him pretty well as far as routes," Hoyer said. "Cam is a playmaker when he gets the ball, and he's made some plays with it."
After being inactive the first two games, Meredith is third on the team with 295 receiving yards and fourth with 26 receptions.
"It's just getting the reps, honestly," Meredith said. "The more I'm out there, the more confidence I'm getting in my hands and routes. I'm going to continue to get better and grow and come out like that every week."
Crunched at crunch time:
The defense did a lot of good things in Sunday's loss, but not many of them in the fourth quarter.
After holding the Jaguars to 168 yards through three quarters, and with a 13-0 lead to protect, the defense couldn't get it done. It allowed 149 yards and all 17 of Jacksonville's points in the final 15 minutes.
How did it get away?
"I have no idea," said inside linebacker Danny Trevathan. "A couple plays got away from us, but we're going to get it done. There are no excuses for us. "We're not going to put our heads down or nothing." Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, who completed just 9 of 19 passes for 138 yards through three quarters, went 11-for-14 for 133 yards in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning 51-yard TD.
Wide receiver Eddie Royal suffered a toe injury in the second half after catching 4 passes for 54 yards and did not return.
Guard Josh Sitton left late in the game with an ankle injury and cornerback Bryce Callahan, who had a team-best 6 solo tackles, was sidelined with a hamstring injury that limited him in practice last week. Cornerback Tracy Porter suffered an ankle injury defending Arrelious Benn on the Jaguars' wide receiver's game-winning TD catch.
Sitting it out:
Sunday's inactives were quarterback Jay Cutler (thumb), linebacker Leonard Floyd (calf), cornerback Deiondre' Hall (ankle), running back Jeremy Langford (ankle), safety DeAndre Houston-Carson, offensive lineman Eric Kush and nose tackle Eddie Goldman (ankle).
Of the 13 players who were questionable on Friday's injury report, the only one who wasn't active on Sunday was Floyd, who occasionally flashed in the first three games but didn't have a tackle in Week 4 and has missed the past two games.
"One of the frustrating things, not just for us but for him too, is the (lack of) continuity of it, (playing) consistently in clumps of time," coach John Fox said. "There hasn't been enough clumps yet. We're working on that, and hopefully that shifts soon."
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