By Chris Emma–
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBS) — Just a few short months after wearing a Super Bowl ring for the first time, Danny Trevathan wore a look of disbelief Sunday.READ MORE: Illinois State Trooper Struck By DUI Driver While Investigating Stolen Vehicle
It was in June that Trevathan’s ring came hand-delivered by Bears general manager Ryan Pace to him at Halas Hall. Teammates swarmed to it, seeing the standard of this league, and Trevathan made it known this was the organization’s goal.
After their 22-16 loss to the Giants on Sunday at MetLife Stadium, the Bears are now 2-8 and only closer to a top-five draft pick — nowhere near a Super Bowl ring. Trevathan left the Super Bowl champion Broncos in free agency for this.
“I hate losing,” Trevathan said. “It leaves a bad taste in my mouth — period.”
One of the Bears’ key leaders, Trevathan vowed that he and teammates would continue their fight for better this season. Who will be there to join him?
The Bears have endured a rash of injuries to which no team can compare. On Sunday, rookie linebacker Leonard Floyd suffered a neck injury in the fourth quarter, creating a scary scene that sent MetLife Stadium into complete silence. Fortunately, he was released from a local hospital and was cleared to return to Chicago with the Bears.
Meanwhile, it appears tight end Zach Miller’s season is over after he suffered a foot fracture. Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton also suffered an ankle injury that required a walking boot for his right foot. The Bears finished the game playing with two of their five starters on the offensive line, and quarterback Jay Cutler paid the price.
“It’s crazy, it’s crazy,” Cutler said of the Bears’ injury woes.
The Bears entered Sunday with 13 players on injured reserve, a number that will increase after their latest loss.
While the phrase “next man up” is said often by the Bears, the reality is that this team didn’t have the depth to succeed with so many reserves playing key roles. The Bears had talent at the top of their depth chart, the work of two offseasons by Pace. But organizational depth has still been lacking.
Fox, who again clarified he’s not a doctor, couldn’t comprehend how his team has lost so many key players.
Trevathan enjoyed many wins with Fox in Denver. Their situation with the Bears has been brutal to this point.
“Adversity, man,” he said.
Six more games remain in this lost Bears season. That feels like an eternity, given what this team has endured. Sunday offered a microcosm of what’s come from the first 10 contests.READ MORE: Charges Filed For Woman Who Stole, Crashed Ambulance On Near North Side
The Bears charged out to a 16-6 lead, with Cutler connecting to Miller for a 19-yard score and Jeremy Langford finding the end zone for his second touchdown of the season. That lead went away quickly as the Giants stomped their way back to control. How many chances at turnovers did the Bears let slip away? It was hard to keep track.
After Giants rookie Sterling Shepard scored on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning with 6:49 remaining in the third quarter, the score was 22-16. The Bears would have six more offensive possessions and fail to score. They managed just 82 yards — a punt, a missed field goal, three more punts and then Cutler’s game-closing interception.
Cutler tried to force the football on second-and-29 after his offense dug a major hole. He had been battered around and was looking to bring the Bears back. Instead, his plant foot slipped, preventing him from getting his body properly aligned. Another game was lost.
“These are the (losses) that kind of keep you up at night,” Cutler said.
It was hard to imagine this season would be quite so miserable for the Bears. In Fox, they have a coach whose resume boasted strong second years in previous stops. He’s now 8-18 in leading the Bears and very much on the hot seat. Perhaps the injuries could be his saving grace if sympathy comes from management.
Pace’s roster overhaul seemed to have the Bears in position for potential contention this season. The NFC North is wide open for the Lions, Vikings and Packers to take, but the Bears’ greatest competition now hails from Cleveland in the form of the race for the top draft pick.
The primary focus for the final six games of this season goes to developing young players and finding who fits into the Bears’ future plans. Establishing those building blocks will be essential.
“We’ve got a good group of men here, a group that will keep fighting,” Bears rookie center Cody Whitehair said.
Perhaps there could be good from the aftermath of this season. The Bears are in line for a high draft pick, which could bring in a franchise-altering player. It’s likely that 2017 will bring a new quarterback, and it’s possible that a new head coach will be roaming the sidelines.
Who knows if the Bears really did have the talent to be a contender if healthy this season? All we have to see of this team is complete misfortune.
Trevathan was brought to the Bears with the hopes that he could be a tone setter. His team is too depleted to follow that lead.
“It’s just the roll of the dice sometimes,” Trevathan said.
Everything has seemed to go against the Bears this season. Trevathan struggled to summarize what has happened in his first losing season in the NFL. All he and teammates could do is hold out hope it will get better.
Trevathan hates losing. That stunned look he wore suggests it hasn’t been easy to accept.MORE NEWS: Deliberations For Former DePaul Student Accused Of Assisting ISIS Resume Monday