Five big takeaways from Chicago Bears’ preseason finale against Buffalo Bills

Undrafted rookie QB Tyson Bagent has another shot

Chicago Bears quarterback PJ Walker throws a pass during their game against the Buffalo Bills Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, at Soldier Field in Chicago.

CHICAGO – Justin Fields and the starters worked out some kinks during Saturday’s preseason loss, 24-21, against the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field. Fields and the first-team offense had a pair of three-and-out possessions before scoring a field goal on their third try.

In all, Fields played 13 snaps. Beyond the first-team offense, there was plenty to keep an eye on in the Bears’ third and final preseason game. Here’s what stood out.

Tyson Bagent gets another shot

Chicago Bears quarterback Tyson Bagent scrambles through the Buffalo Bills pass rush for a good gain during their preseason game Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, at Soldier Field in Chicago.

A week after he stole the show in Indianapolis, undrafted rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent was the first quarterback off the bench Saturday. It seemed notable that Bagent entered the game before veteran backups PJ Walker or Nathan Peterman. Bagent played most of the second and third quarters.

Just like last week, Bagent ran in a touchdown himself, scoring on an 8-yard scramble.

Home or away, just being able to get in the end zone – whether throwing the ball or running the ball – is pretty electrifying and it’s that addicting feeling.”

—  Tyson Bagent, Bears quarterback

“It was loud, it was fun,” Bagent said. “Home or away, just being able to get in the end zone – whether throwing the ball or running the ball – is pretty electrifying and it’s that addicting feeling. It’s one of the reasons why I’m addicted to football, for moments like that.”

Later, he should’ve had his first passing touchdown of the preseason when he threw toward tight end Stephen Carlson, who was wide open in the end zone. Carlson dropped a sure touchdown. In a huge turn of events, Bagent threw an interception on the following play.

Bagent finished his day 7-for-14 passing for 43 yards with an interception. He rushed for 23 yards and a touchdown.

Walker played the fourth quarter and Peterman did not see the field. Walker was 6-for-11 passing for 71 yards and a touchdown.

Bears reportedly allow Trevis Gipson to seek trade

Bears defensive end Trevis Gipson finds himself buried on the depth chart. He’s listed with the fourth-team defense. Gipson had seven sacks in 2021, but is coming off a disappointing three sacks last year.

Over the past several weeks, it has looked as if Gipson might not make the 53-man roster. On Saturday, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that the Bears have allowed Gipson to seek a trade. Gipson had his best season when he was playing in a 3-4 defensive scheme. The adjustment to head coach Matt Eberflus’ 4-3 scheme did not go well last season.

Gipson had a strip sack during Saturday’s game. He finished the preseason with two sacks and three QB hits. He was unavailable for comment following the game.

Eberflus declined to comment on any trade possibilities.

“I can just say this: Trevis is an outstanding young man, and he works his tail off, and he’s been great since he’s been there,” Eberflus said.

Tyrique Stevenson’s ups and downs

As he did last week, rookie cornerback Tyrique Stevenson had both good moments and bad. It’s easy to pick on cornerbacks when they make mistakes, but Stevenson had a pair of holding penalties early in the game.

He made up for it, though, by picking off a pass thrown by Bills backup quarterback Kyle Allen in the first quarter. In coverage against Bills receiver Gabe Davis near the sideline, Stevenson turned his head just in time to see the football coming his way. He caught it with just enough time to keep his feet in bounds for an interception.

Stevenson said he didn’t know he got his feet in bounds. He called it satisfying, but noted that he’s a harsh critic on himself.

“I’m looking at all the things I did wrong,” Stevenson said. “Looking at these penalties and just going back to the drawing board. [The] interception was great, but I’ve got to be a better player for the guys around me.”

Tyler Scott’s big return

With kick returner Velus Jones Jr. sidelined by an injury, rookie receiver Tyler Scott had a chance to show what he could do on kick return. Scott returned three kicks, but the one that caught everyone’s attention was a 56-yard return that he brought out past midfield.

Scott said he saw a similar look from the Bills on his previous kick return. If he had another chance, he wanted to bounce it outside. That’s exactly what he did on the 56-yard return.

He appears to be the biggest challenger to Jones as the kick and punt return man. Scott never fielded a punt in college, but did return several kickoffs when he was at Cincinnati.

“You’re trying to earn a position, you’re trying to earn a spot on the roster and trying to make an impact the best way that you can,” Scott said. “They haven’t been too up front about who’s kickoff return. This game’s all about opportunity and you’ve got to make the best of your opportunities.”

Health heading into regular season

Several players suffered injuries Saturday. Notably, center Doug Kramer, who started the game, exited in the first half. Kramer had his right hand wrapped up after the game.

Rookie linebacker Noah Sewell left the game with an apparent left leg injury. Sewell, a key backup at linebacker, walked off the field but rode in a cart back to the locker room. Reserve offensive lineman Gabe Houy was carted off the field with a leg injury.

Several expected starters did not play: safety Eddie Jackson, safety Jaquan Brisker, receiver Chase Claypool, right tackle Darnell Wright, right guard Nate Davis and left guard Teven Jenkins.

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for the Shaw Local News Network. He has covered the Bears since 2020. Prior to writing about the Bears, he covered high school sports for the Northwest Herald and contributed to Friday Night Drive. Sean joined Shaw Media in 2016.