LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP)Chase Claypool’s exile from the Chicago Bears will continue – the latest issue for a team that’s been mired in turmoil all season.

Coach Matt Eberflus said Monday that Claypool won’t practice with the team this week. The wide receiver was inactive for Sunday’s 31-28 loss to the Denver Broncos.

The Bears have lost 14 straight games dating to last season. But 2022 was a rebuilding year, the first under Eberflus and Justin Fields’ first full season as Chicago’s starting quarterback.

After a 3-14 record netted the Bears the top overall pick in the draft, Chicago traded it to Carolina for DJ Moore and a haul of picks, committing to Fields with the hope that improvement on the field would follow.

But this year, the Bears haven’t just been losing games – they’ve had off-the-field distractions. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned for what he said were health and family reasons, and Fields suggested he was being overcoached, comments he later said were taken out of context.

Now, there’s the Claypool situation. Eberflus said Claypool was told to stay away from the team on Sunday, although he did not characterize it as a suspension.

Eberflus said he has spoken to general manager Ryan Poles about Claypool.

It’s possible the Bears are looking into cutting or trading the fourth-year receiver, although Eberflus wouldn’t be specific. The Bears used a second-round pick to acquire Claypool in the middle of last season. It turned out to be the first pick of the second round.

“Yeah, right now, we’re just having him stay … not be in the building this week and then again, Ryan does all the trades and transactions and we’ll decide that as we go forward,” Eberflus said.

Nor would Eberflus be specific about what Claypool did to get into the doghouse.

“Day 1, I talked about being on time, being respectful and working hard,” Eberflus said. “That, to me, is important for every individual – if it’s a staff member, a player or a coach. That’s where we are. We feel right now this is the best decision for us.”

There is no plan for Claypool returning beyond this week, according to Eberflus.

Claypool has four catches for 51 yards on the year and his poor first game as a blocker against Green Bay was a point of public discussion by the coaching staff.

Equanimeous St. Brown replaced Claypool in Sunday’s game and had a 21-yard reception. St. Brown had been inactive the first three games and is regarded by coaches as possibly their best blocking receiver.


Finally, Fields and his receivers appeared in sync. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy moved Fields around in the pocket and outside of it, and that clearly made him more comfortable throwing the ball.

Fields had career highs of 335 yards passing and four touchdowns. He found DJ Moore eight times for 131 yards and threw two TD passes to tight end Cole Kmet. Fields was also intercepted once and lost a fumble on a strip-sack.

“I think we were in a rhythm, Luke was dialing it up,” Fields said. “Guys were protecting up front. Receivers were getting open. We were definitely in a rhythm.

“At the end of the day we lost the game so it really doesn’t matter.”


The Bears’ pass defense was nearly as ineffective as their passing attack was effective. They played without injured safety Eddie Jackson and cornerbacks Kyler Gordon and Jaylon Johnson. Gordon’s backup, Josh Blackwell, was also out.

Rookie cornerback Terell Smith gave up a 48-yard pass from Russell Wilson to Marvin Mims that got Denver into position for the winning field goal. The Bears kept Wilson under control in the first half while building a 28-7 lead, but he finished 21 of 28 for 223 yards and three TDs.


Running back Khalil Herbert gained more yards Sunday than in the first three games combined. Herbert, who came into the game with 93 yards rushing, finished with 103 yards on 18 carries. He also caught a season-high four passes, including a touchdown.


Rookie tackle Darnell Wright, the team’s first-round draft pick, gave up a sack and committed two critical penalties after playing solidly in his first three games.


The Bears reported no new injuries and are hopeful that some of their banged-up defensive backs can return soon. Gordon is still at least a game away from returning from injured reserve, as is guard Teven Jenkins.


4 – Chicago’s losses to start the season. Only three times in franchise history have the Bears had a worse start: They lost seven straight in 1969 and 1997 and five straight in 1945.


The Bears visit Washington on Thursday night. The Commanders are coming off an overtime loss at Philadelphia.