Chicago Bears wide receiver Chase Claypool is struggling so far this season, and on Sunday, he gave the NFL world an idea why. It's tough to make a play when you aren't sure if your team is running the ball or throwing it.
Claypool admitted to reporters that there have been times this season when he didn't even know what play the Bears' offense was running. “Sometimes 10 guys are doing a good job and one person isn't. Like me, I think it's a run play and it's a screen. That's my fault,” the fourth-year receiver told media after Chicago's 27-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, per NBC Chicago's Josh Schrock.
Claypool improved on his Week 1 performance — not that that's saying much. He caught zero passes in the season opening loss to the Green Bay Packers.
The former Pittsburgh Steeler at least got on that stat sheet on Sunday, hauling in three passes for 36 yards. He even caught a touchdown pass. But he was targeted a game-high eight times by QB Justin Fields. That's a lot of looks for not that many catches.
It was a shocking admission from an NFL player, and perhaps a clue as to why the Bears are performing the way they are on offense through two games.
Through two games, the Bears are averaging 18.5 points a game. That's down from their 2022 average of 19.2 points per contest. That's a bad trend for a team that expected to improve greatly after a historically bad campaign last season.
High on the priority list for coach Matt Eberflus' squad was to develop Fields by surrounding him with playmakers. It's a troubling sign that Claypool, the team's number-three receiver and someone expected to contribute to Fields' growth, is so out of sync with the rest of the players on the field that he doesn't even know if he's supposed to be blocking or running a route.
An 0-2 start is discouraging enough. Now the Bears have players admitting they don't even know what plays they are running.