(KDKA/AP) — Chase Claypool's exile from the Chicago Bears will continue — the latest issue for a team that's been mired in turmoil all season.
Coach Matt Eberflus said Monday that Claypool won't practice with the team this week. The wide receiver was inactive for Sunday's 31-28 loss to the Denver Broncos.
The Bears have lost 14 straight games dating to last season. But 2022 was a rebuilding year, the first under Eberflus and Justin Fields' first full season as Chicago's starting quarterback.
After a 3-14 record netted the Bears the top overall pick in the draft, Chicago traded it to Carolina for DJ Moore and a haul of picks, committing to Fields with the hope that improvement on the field would follow.
But this year, the Bears haven't just been losing games — they've had off-the-field distractions. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned for what he said were health and family reasons, and Fields suggested he was being overcoached, comments he later said were taken out of context.
Now, there's the Claypool situation. Eberflus said Claypool was told to stay away from the team on Sunday, although he did not characterize it as a suspension.
Eberflus said he has spoken to general manager Ryan Poles about Claypool.
It's possible the Bears are looking into cutting or trading the fourth-year receiver, although Eberflus wouldn't be specific. The Bears used a second-round pick to acquire Claypool in the middle of last season from the Pittsburgh Steelers. It turned out to be the first pick of the second round.
"Yeah, right now, we're just having him stay ... not be in the building this week and then again, Ryan does all the trades and transactions and we'll decide that as we go forward," Eberflus said.
Nor would Eberflus be specific about what Claypool did to get into the doghouse.
"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. We feel right now this is the best decision for us."
There is no plan for Claypool returning beyond this week, according to Eberflus.
Claypool has four catches for 51 yards on the year and his poor first game as a blocker against Green Bay was a point of public discussion by the coaching staff.
Equanimeous St. Brown replaced Claypool in Sunday's game and had a 21-yard reception. St. Brown had been inactive the first three games and is regarded by coaches as possibly their best blocking receiver.
The Steelers drafted Claypool in the second round of the 2020 draft. He played 39 games in the Steel City, catching 153 passes for 2,044 yards and 12 TDs, most of which came in his rookie campaign when he catch 62 balls for 873 yards and nine scores.
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