Brad Biggs: Danny Trevathan doesn't have an injury to explain poor showing. Bears have to hope veteran LB can recharge soon.

By Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Football

CHICAGO - The Chicago Bears gave Danny Trevathan a day of rest Wednesday, three days after his playing time took a significant cut, but they didn't list an injury for the inside linebacker that would explain something hampering his performance the last two weeks.

Trevathan was held out of the full-pads afternoon practice at Halas Hall. He walked onto the field as the stretching period began and fist-bumped coach Matt Nagy before the two had a brief conversation and things got rolling. Tight end Jimmy Graham and wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. also were given veterans days off, as they received last week.

Nagy didn't address anything regarding Trevathan during his Zoom call with media, which took place 90 minutes before practice, but the film from wins over the Detroit Lions and New York Giants says it all. Trevathan hasn't been able to move, has been a liability in coverage and has struggled to disengage from blocks.

If Trevathan continues to struggle, it's worth wondering if the Bears would turn to 2018 fourth-round pick Joel Iyiegbuniwe, who has yet to start an NFL game. Trevathan has missed 17 games over the previous four seasons with the Bears because of injuries, but he has not appeared on the injury report this season.

The Bears broke from tradition and removed Trevathan in sub packages during Sunday's 17-13 win over the Giants at Soldier Field, replacing him with safety Deon Bush. He was on the field for 31 of the 65 defensive plays, a steep decline for a player who has been a three-down linebacker for most of his nine-year career. It's likely the Bears will rely heavily on their sub packages Sunday against quarterback Matt Ryan and the pass-happy Atlanta Falcons.

Trevathan took ownership of his poor play in the opening win in Detroit, saying he was responsible for covering running back D'Andre Swift on the play when Swift got wide open on a corner route and dropped what would have been a game-winning touchdown pass in the end zone.


"Danny had him man to man," inside linebackers coach Mark DeLeone said last week. "He's got to do a better job of his leverage there and staying outside that route."

Trevathan was trailing - by a good margin - when trying to cover the Giants' Dion Lewis out of the backfield Sunday, and there have been too many plays in which it looked like something was wrong with him or he simply didn't have the range, change of direction and athletic explosion that has defined his career.

It's almost more alarming that he has not appeared on the injury report with a lower-body injury that might explain his struggle to move. The Bears have to be crossing their fingers that a day off will allow him to recharge and he isn't broken down.

"I didn't play the way I wanted to," Trevathan said last Friday. "That's why you have next-game mentality."


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