Chase Claypool’s days with the Chicago Bears appear to be numbered.
During a news conference Monday at Halas Hall that was at times tense and awkward, coach Matt Eberflus said Claypool has been asked to stay away from the team this week — and perhaps permanently — as the Bears face a short turnaround before Thursday’s game against the Washington Commanders.
Eberflus said he and general manager Ryan Poles collaborated on that decision.
“In the building, we feel like that’s best for the team,” Eberflus said. “And really it comes down to this: When you’re evaluating players in meetings, in practice, in walk-throughs and all those things, it’s important you evaluate the entire body of work, right? We just feel that right now Chase is going to be out of the building. It’s best for our football team.”
After the Bears informed Claypool he would be inactive for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos, he was not in attendance at Soldier Field for the Bears’ 31-28 loss as confusion lingered about whether he opted to stay away or was told to by the team.
Eberflus said Monday the team asked Claypool to stay home. Now, it seems, the Bears are weighing more significant separation scenarios, hoping to either trade the fourth-year wide receiver or possibly waive him to cut their losses.
“Ryan does all the trades and transactions,” Eberflus said, “and we’ll decide that as we go forward.”
Claypool has had inconsistent production since arriving via a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers in November. In 10 games for the Bears, he has just 18 catches for 191 yards with one touchdown. He missed two games because of injury last season and was a healthy scratch Sunday.
More significantly, Claypool’s emotional volatility and erratic work habits have been an ongoing issue at Halas Hall. And while Eberflus bounced around Monday with his answers on Claypool’s sudden estrangement, he insinuated the 25-year-old did not meet expectations in the Week 4 preparation process.
“When I came here 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.
©2023 Chicago Tribune. Visit chicagotribune.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.