(WSCR) After the Bears were embarrassed on a national stage in their Monday night loss to the Lions, it seemed obvious change was coming.

Sure enough, head coach Lovie Smith elected to bench his two starting safeties – Chris Harris and Brandon Meriweather.

“That’s a big statement by Lovie. It really is,” Matt Bowen of the Chicago Tribune and The National Football Post told The Boers and Bernstein Show. “To bench two safeties is a big deal, I don’t care what point of the season you’re at, or if you’re in the second day of camp. If you bench two starters at the same position, you’re telling the rest of the team, ‘Hey, look, if you’re not getting the job done, I’m going to start coaching with accountability. If you don’t play my way, in the defense I installed and I run, you’re not going to play.”

LISTEN: Matt Bowen on The Boers and Bernstein Show

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Smith went a step further with Harris – not only did Harris lose his starting job, he wasn’t even activated for the game. Smith explained that Harris was inactive because he doesn’t play special teams. Bowen, however, is skeptical of Smith’s reasoning.

“If you’re not in the starting lineup and you can’t cover kicks, I understand that,” Bowen said. “But you can’t tell me Chris Harris can’t cover kicks. I mean, he can cover a kick. He’s a veteran player. What is this, his seventh year? He knows how to run down there and make a tackle. So you start looking deeper at it – what’s the real story here?

“These seasons now for veterans are like daily narratives. Every day, something changes. You go up, you go down, you deal with adversity, you play good, you play bad. But when you go down and things go south, they go south very quickly. All of the sudden, you’re a ghost. You’re not even part of the game plan.”

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