Chicago Bears’ N’Keal Harry ‘excited’ to get back into lineup against Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears' N'Keal Harry celebrates his touchdown catch in front of Dallas Cowboys' Kelvin Joseph during the first half, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, in Arlington, Texas.

N’Keal Harry will get a chance to build off of his best game of the season when he returns to the lineup for the Bears against Buffalo on Saturday.

The fourth-year wide receiver returns after missing Sunday’s game against the Eagles with a back injury and is excited to build momentum heading into the final stretch of the season.

“I’m just excited to go out there, get back on the field and help this team win some games,” Harry said.

Harry was a full participant during this week’s practices and said Thursday his back is feeling good after receiving treatment. The Bear had his best game of the season against Green Bay in Week 13 when he caught a pass for 49 yards, his highest total of the year.

The Bears traded a 2024 seventh-round pick to New England in exchange for the former first-round pick in July. Harry didn’t make his season debut until Week 7 against New England after starting the season on injured reserve with an ankle injury. The wide receiver has five catches in four games for 93 yards and one touchdown.

He’ll need to step up in a depleted wide receiver room. Top wide receiver Darnell Mooney is out for the season with an ankle injury and Chase Claypool was listed as doubtful in Friday’s injury report with a knee injury. Bears coach Matt Eberflus said there might be a slight chance Claypool could play if he shows improvement leading up to kickoff.

Harry will try to grow his presence against a tough Bills defense. Buffalo has given up the second-least points (250) in 14 games and allows an average of 17.9 points per game, which also ranks second in the league. The Bears offense averages 20.7 points per game.

“They’re a very sound defense,” said Harry, who has played in four games against the Bills. “They play well together. Some of them have played together for a while so they’re a tough defense to play against.”

The Bears’ offensive line might also be shorthanded with guards Cody Whitehair (knee) and Tevin Jenkins (neck) listed as doubtful for Saturday’s game. Eberflus said Michael Schofield would step in first if either Whitehair or Jenkins couldn’t play and then Larry Borom could move to guard if both don’t play.

“He looks comfortable in there,” Eberflus said of Borom. “He’s done a good job in there all week, just being in that tighter space.”

Despite not being at full strength, Harry thinks the Bears offense can still learn a lot heading into the final three games of the regular season. Harry is still trying to achieve more than 100 receiving yards and 12 receptions, a feat he’s accomplished in each of his first three seasons.

The wide receiver showed his potential with an impressive catch against Green Bay. Now he wants to build a rapport with quarterback Justin Fields as he tries to build momentum starting Saturday.

“It’s going to be a tough matchup,” Harry said. “But at the end of the day, we need to do what we do to have a productive game against them.”

Injury report: Corner back Jaylon Johnson (finger) was listed as questionable for Saturday’s game after being a full participant during Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s practices and limited on Thursday.

Eberflus said Johnson has been practicing with his ring finger in a brace all week and said Johnson was feeling good with it.

Wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown (concussion), corner back Kindle Vildor (ankle) and tight end Trevon Wesco (calf) are all out for Saturday’s game after not practicing all week.

Michal Dwojak

Michal Dwojak

Michal is a sports enterprise reporter for Shaw Local, covering the CCL/ESCC for Friday Night Drive and other prep sports for the Northwest Herald. He also is a Chicago Bears contributing writer. He previously was the sports editor for the Glenview Lantern, Northbook Tower and Malibu Surfside News.