It’s not surprising that the Bears were able to create turnovers and win with defense.
But they surprised even themselves sometimes with their ability to patch together a side that’s been decimated by injuries.
In beating the Giants Thursday night, they were using undrafted rookies at defensive end (David Bass) and defensive tackle (Zach Minter), and started a guy who was signed two weeks ago (Landon Cohen) after putting two defensive tackles on IR and having Stephen Paea inactive with a toe injury.
At one point, Bass started directing traffic, telling known-commodity Julius Peppers to slide inside on a pass-rush down.
“It was funny, because I didn’t realize he was in the game,” Peppers said with a laugh, via John Mullin of CSNChicago.com. “He was telling me where to go.”
They were also without cornerback Charles Tillman (replaced by Zachary Bowman), and lost middle linebacker D.J. Williams in the second quarter with a chest injury (putting rookie Jon Bostic on the field). Coupled with a short week, it was quite a performance.
“It was ‘next man up’ all over the defense,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “[Defensive coordinator] Mel Tucker did a great job on our staff, just getting the guys ready without any practice.”
If they get a few players healthy, that’s a good sign for later games when they will actually prepare.