CHICAGO (CBS) — Former Chicago Bear and WBBM Newsradio analyst Tom Thayer says a four-day rest is just what the veterans on the Bears need, as the team enters a bye week.
“So far, bye week teams have had a hard time winning games after the bye, so you’ll see how it will affect them when the go to Philadelphia, so right now the collective bargaining agreement and allowing the players to have four consecutive days off hasn’t really spelled well for the bye team,” Thayer told WBBM Newsradio’s Josh Liss. “But the Bears are a veteran team. They have some great leadership. I think not only the veterans need some rest to recover from the overseas trip, but they also need some rest at this point in the regular season to heal up the small nicks and bruises – not necessarily the major injuries, but the things they can overcome in four days, I think they’ll have that opportunity.”
LISTEN: Thayer talks with WBBM Newsradio’s Josh Liss
Thayer also weighed in on the release of safety Chris Harris, in favor of younger players. Harris was released Thursday morning by Coach Lovie Smith, after he started in the Bears’ 24-18 victory over Tampa Bay in London with Major Wright nursing a hip injury.
“Lovie Smith said the exact thing it is – it’s the evaluation of your full body of work,” Thayer said. “This is not just an off-the-cuff decision they made about Chris Harris. It’s about the body of work, so they believe in their evaluation of the young guys in practices and throughout training camp, they’ve developed an attitude that they have some young talent here that they have to get on the field.”
Meanwhile, first-round draft pick Gabe Carimi is set to play next week when the Bears take on the Philadelphia Eagles, but he won’t be in the starting lineup. He was sidelined with a knee injury in Week 2 that caused him to miss five games.
When will Carimi return to his starting post? Thayer says that’s up to offensive line coach Mike Tice.
“You know, one thing about offensive linemen, when you do come back from injury, it’s the evaluation of the coach that really allows you to get inserted back in,” Thayer said. “You tell the coaches that you are fit for duty; that you’re ready to go 100 percent for the full game, and then as he evaluates you at practice, he’s going to see, are you better than what we have playing right now?”