LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) — At the start of training camp, Bears Bears receiver Chase Claypool called this "the biggest year of my life," a reference to his impending contract year. It has all started off the wrong way.
Claypool had zero receptions in the Bears' 38-20 loss to the Packers on Sunday at Soldier Field in their season opener. He also struggled considerably in his role as a blocker, which led to quarterback Justin Fields lamenting the missed opportunities in the short passing attack.
Now, it's not even a certainty that Claypool will be on the field this upcoming Sunday as the Bears take on the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay. Coach Matt Eberflus didn't rule out the possibility of Claypool being a healthy scratch.
"We're looking at all possibilities right now," Eberflus said Wednesday.
If the Bears do make Claypool inactive Sunday, the team would likely fill his spot by turning to veteran receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, who's considered a strong blocker.
Claypool, 25, was acquired by the Bears in a trade last November that sent a second-round pick to the Steelers. That selection became the No. 32 overall slot in the 2023 NFL Draft after Chicago went an NFL-worst 3-14.
Claypool had 153 receptions for 2,044 yards and 12 touchdowns over 39 games with the Steelers. He has hauled in just 14 passes for 140 yards over eight games with the Bears.
Eberflus met with Claypool on Monday to express the need for improved blocking out of his role.
"Everything comes down to technique," Eberflus said. "It’s about technique and it’s really about when you’re blocking the perimeter like that, you have to have good technique. He’s displayed good technique in practice on that. That’s why we had him in those positions. But perimeter blocking is all about technique. It’s all about your angles. It's all about your intensity, for sure. It’s always about that. It doesn’t matter if you’re push-cracking on a linebacker or cracking down on somebody inside. That’s what it’s always about."
The Bears (0-1) and the Buccaneers (1-0) kick off at noon CT on Sunday from Raymond James Stadium. Inactives must be filed 90 minutes prior to kickoff.
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.