With Darnell Mooney sidelined with an injured ankle, Bears receiver Javon Wims expected to see more playing time Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.
The Bears certainly needed Wims to step up. And the 26-year-old third-year pro had his opportunity in Sunday’s 21-9 loss to the Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Wims let a sure touchdown pass fall through his hands late in the first quarter.
Trailing 7-0, the Bears lined up in the wildcat formation, with quarterback Mitch Trubisky out wide at receiver. At the snap, Trubisky ran toward the backfield, caught a pitch and unloaded a deep ball for Wims.
Wims had the Saints’ last defender beat, but Trubisky’s throw passed through his hands in the end zone. The trick play worked to perfection until the last possible moment.
“Against a team like this, when there’s an opportunity to make [a play], you have to make that play,” head coach Matt Nagy said. “Javon knows that. I’m not saying anything that Javon doesn’t know. He understands that.”
The Bears did not make Wims available for comment after the game. Trubisky said when he saw the play developing, he knew it would be a touchdown.
“It was a touchdown,” Trubisky said. “You don’t get a lot of opportunities like that, and get your guy pretty wide open behind the safety.”
Trubisky said the Bears had been practicing the play for a few weeks and he was excited when he heard the play call.
A touchdown in that moment might not have saved the Bears from losing this game. But it would’ve given the Bears a desperately needed answer. All game long, they failed to find any rhythm offensively.
A touchdown in that moment would’ve been Wims’ season highlight. It could’ve made up for his misstep earlier in the season, when he was ejected for throwing punches at Saints safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson.
Instead, it will go down as one of many woulda-coulda-shoulda’s of the Bears’ 2020 season.
“We had plenty of plays after that where we could’ve executed better, and we didn’t do that,” left tackle Charles Leno said. “So I’m not going to blame it on that one play. Yeah, it sucks, guy’s in the end zone.”
The Bears wouldn’t find the end zone until the final play of the game, a Jimmy Graham touchdown catch as time expired.