Bears LB Freeman being evaluated for chest injury
Inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman led all players Sunday with 10 tackles, and he finished the game despite multiple injuries.
Freeman had a self-reported concussion after the game and a chest injury that was being evaluated Monday afternoon, according to coach John Fox.
"Anytime you have an injury, it's serious," Fox said of the chest injury. "I don't know the severity of it yet."
If Freeman, who led the Bears by a wide margin last year with 127 tackles, is sidelined, 2016 fourth-round Nick Kwiatkoski is the logical replacement.
As a rookie, Kwiatkoski started seven games while Freeman was serving a four-game suspension after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, and while Danny Trevathan was injured.
"There was a coverage play that he made a really good play (on)," Fox said. "He's a good athlete. He understands our defense a lot better. He had some good games in the preseason. I know our coaching staff is very confident in him."
Special teams standout Christian Jones, who has started 20 games in three years with the Bears, could also see increased action. Trevathan, the other No. 1 inside linebacker, started Sunday less than 10 months after suffering a torn patellar tendon, but he was on a pitch count.
"Christian had a good camp," Fox said, "and hopefully Danny Trevathan gets better and better each week as he gets back to playing football."
Running back Benny Cunningham left the game in the first half with a high ankle sprain and could be out for several weeks.
Little big man:
At 6-foot-5 and 332 pounds, defensive lineman Akiem Hicks is the biggest player on the roster, but he looks up to rookie running back Tarik Cohen, who is the smallest at 5-foot-6 and 181 pounds.
"I think 5-foot-6 is a reach," Hicks said, laughing. "But at that stature, you're going to have to be vicious. You're going to have to be able to take a couple of hits and get up. We all saw (Sunday), he can take the hit and get up and go for the next play. And not only does he take the hit, but he takes the hit and he's juiced about it. I don't know if that says there's something wrong with him, but he likes it. He loves football."
Cohen had 158 combined yards Sunday -- 66 rushing yards on just 5 carries, 47 yards on 8 catches and 45 yards on 3 punt returns.
Bears coach John Fox was the New York Giants defensive coordinator on Sept. 11, 2001.
"So it's kind of always embedded in my brain and heart," Fox said. "A lot of great people lost their lives that day."
The Giants played a Monday night game in Denver on Sept. 10, 2001 and landed about 8:30 the next morning in Newark, N.J.
"The one flight that crashed in Pittsburgh was actually pulling out of the same jetway we were at. We're driving down the Turnpike and the smoke's billowing out of one of the Towers, and history speaks for the rest of that day.
"We met all day Tuesday, 9/11. We had practice on Wednesday, practice on Thursday, and then the league decided to postpone the weekend."
Considering the destruction that Hurricane Irma unleashed in the Caribbean and across Florida, Bears coach John Fox was feeling fortunate about his home on Marco Island.
"It's way better than anticipated," Fox said. "They were calling for 10-to-15 feet of surge. I have a single-story home, so it wasn't looking good. But it ended up being about three feet. We got plenty of wind damage, but at the end of the day, I think it was all (relatively) pretty good for all of South Florida."
The Bears' Sunday game against the Buccaneers in Tampa appears as if it will be played as scheduled despite water and wind damage throughout Florida.
"It looks about 95 percent sure that's where we'll play," Bears coach John Fox said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with everybody there in the recovery effort."
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