Khalil Mack didn’t play as many snaps as usual, and the Bears outside linebacker made far fewer plays than usual.
Mack played 47 snaps, the sixth-fewest of his career, and with the Rams throwing only 18 passes, he finished with no statistics. Not a sack. Not a tackle. Not a quarterback hit.
It is only the third time Mack has been shut out in his six-year NFL career, according to Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.
“Khalil, he doesn’t have to change anything he’s doing,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said. “He’s a pretty good player, and he understands in this scheme it cyclical, and we’re just in that right now. Teams are going to double him every single game, and it just gives opportunities to other guys.”
The absence of Pro Bowl defensive end Akiem Hicks, who is on injured reserve with a dislocated elbow, has allowed opponents to slow Mack. Mack had 4.5 sacks and four forced fumbles in the first four games. He has one sack and no forced fumbles in the past six games.
“You see that, with some of the production — and you see that with a lot of superstars,” Nagy said. “You can go back to last year with Aaron Donald, when he played us, there wasn’t any [two tackles, one quarterback hit in 68 snaps].
“Sometimes that happens, but it opens it up for other guys. [Mack] was a part of the first play of the game with the [Todd Gurley] fumble. He was right there with Eddie Jackson, ripping the ball out.”