With Bears rookie center Hroniss Grasu watching from the sideline with a neck injury, the Bears offense looked very limited early in Sunday’s 23-20 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
How can one player have such an impact, you ask? Because of the shuffling along the offensive line.
With Grasu absent, left guard Matt Slauson had to shift over to center, and he was flanked by guards Vladimir Ducasse on the left and Patrick Omameh on the right.
The line did not play poorly, per se — they allowed just one sack. But they only paved the way for 97 rushing yards, and offensive coordinator Adam Gase had to adjust the game plan to call for short, quick passes. That was the greatest limitation for the Bears because the Vikings have a stout young defense capable of covering sideline-to-sideline with speed. Seemingly every time the Bears tried to run wide receiver screens, slants, or anything into the flat, the Vikings were there to swallow it up.
As the line got a little more comfortable playing together, the Bears took a few more chances down the field, which is when Alshon Jeffery started accumulating big chunks of yards in the solid game that he had.
Hopefully the Bears can stabilize the line and remain healthy because it’s a big factor in just how creative Gase can be with the offense.