Having asked him to stay away from the team, Chicago Bears coach Matt Eberflus announced earlier this week that Chase Claypool would be inactive for Thursday night’s game against the Washington Commanders.
Claypool, who was acquired in-season last year from the Pittsburgh Steelers for what ended up being the No. 32 overall pick, has just 18 catches for 191 yards in 10 games with Chicago.
His actions and effort, or lack thereof, have caused him to be a headache for Eberflus and the Bears, who decided that the best decision for the team was to have him inactive and away from Soldier Field and Halas Hall for the foreseeable future.
With that, it leaves Bears quarterback Justin Fields without one of his top receivers. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Fields indicated that the situation “sucks,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times, but stopped short of defending the actions of the fourth-year receiver out of Notre Dame.
“It sucks, but at the end of the day, you can’t control it,” Fields said, via NBC Sports Chicago’s Josh Schrock. “You’ve got to go out there with guys that we have and execute like we did this past Sunday. Wish nothing but the best for Chase. I think he knows that he kind of messed up by saying that, but wish him nothing but the best. He’s a talented player, and he’s a great person, has a good heart, and works really hard. Definitely going to be staying in touch with him regardless of what happens and wish him nothing but the best.”
Fields, of course, is referring to when last week, Claypool criticized the team’s game plan. After being asked if he was being put in a position to best showcase what he could do in the Bears’ offense, Claypool didn’t deny his dissatisfaction.
“No,” the 25-year-old said after thinking and shaking his head.
Before he was asked to keep his distance, Claypool had hauled four receptions (on 14 targets) for 51 yards in a touchdown in three games played. It remains to be seen if he ever suits up for the Bears again, but it sure seems like his quarterback is doing the best he can to keep the young receiver engaged.