Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Live updates from Raymond James Stadium

Bears return to action against Bucs, Baker Mayfield

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus encourages his team during their game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, at Soldier Field in Chicago.

TAMPA, Fla. – The Bears return to action Sunday looking to pick up their first win of the season in a matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Matt Eberflus’ team looks to rebound from a Week 1 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Quarterback Justin Fields and the offense will have to contend with a Buccaneers team that blitzes often and made life hard on Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins last week.

Shaw Local’s Bears beat writer Sean Hammond is in Tampa, Florida, for Sunday’s matchup. Follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @sean_hammond, on Instagram at @bears_reporter and on Threads at @bears_reporter. For all the latest news from Shaw Local, follow @bears_insider on X. Shaw Local football analyst Marc Silverman is on X at @WaddleandSilvy.

Below is everything Bears fans need to know to prepare for the game. Stay here all game long for live updates, too.

Fields throws another interception to ice it

Justin Fields targeted Chase Claypool on third-and-long with the Bears down by 10 points and the clock under two minutes. The ball bounced off a defender and landed in the hands of Bucs safety Christian Izien for an interception.

The Bucs knelt out the clock for a win, 27-17.

Fields throws pick-six

With the game on the line, the Bears defense forced a punt from the Bucs offense, but the Bucs pinned them deep in their own territory on the punt.

On first-and-11 from their own 6-yard line, the Bears attempted yet another screen pass to running back Khalil Herbert, but Justin Fields threw the ball right to Bucs outside linebacker Shaq Barrett, who returned it four yards for a touchdown. The score put the Bucs up, 27-17.

Claypool catches touchdown

The Bears drove 90 yards down field and scored on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Justin Fields to receiver Chase Claypool. Claypool celebrated by emphatically throwing the football at the wall behind the end zone. He appeared to be letting out a week’s worth of frustration.

The score pulled the Bears within three points, 20-17, with 6:17 remaining in the game. It marked Claypool’s first touchdown as a member of the Chicago Bears.

Darnell Mooney suffers knee injury

Receiver Darnell Mooney has been ruled questionable to return with a knee injury. It’s unclear when exactly Mooney injured his knee. During a nine-play drive late in the third quarter, Mooney remained on the sideline with his helmet on.

Receiver and punt returner Trent Taylor took Mooney’s place on several plays.

Mike Evans scores touchdown for Bucs

The Bears couldn’t generate much offense on the opening play after halftime. The Bucs took over and drove 89 yards in 12 plays, while eating up 7:25 of playing time. Baker Mayfield connected with Mike Evans for a 32-yard touchdown pass. The touchdown came on third-and-14. The Bucs are 7-for-11 on third down so far.

The Bucs extended their lead, 20-10, with 4:06 remaining in the third quarter. Safety Jaquan Brisker returned to the game during the drive. Brisker left earlier with a reported illness.

Bucs take lead going into halftime

As time expired in the first half, the Bucs added a field goal to take a lead, 13-10, into halftime. The Bucs drove 69 yards on 12 plays and scored a 29-yard field goal.

The Bucs have 292 total yards of offense in the game. Justin Fields finished the first half 6-for-10 passing for 95 yards. He was sacked four times, fumbling once. He also had a rushing touchdown. Receiver DJ Moore caught three passes for 65 yards in the half.

Santos makes 52-yard field goal

The protection was as good as a quarterback could ask for on the Bears’ drive late in the second quarter. Yet, Justin Fields took two sacks, including a strip sack fumble that the Bears recovered. He went 3-for-5 passing for 30 yards on the possession, which was disjointed.

Still, the Bears managed to score points. Kicker Cairo Santos knocked in a 52-yard field goal to tie the game, 10-10, late in the half.

Bucs finally punch in touchdown

On their third trip into Bears territory, the Bucs finally punched in a touchdown. Running back Rachaad White scored on a 4-yard touchdown run.

The Bucs set up the score after a huge gain from receiver Mike Evans. Evans probably got away with a push against Bears cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, then found open space for a 70-yard gain inside the 10-yard line.

Bears block field goal

The Bears blocked a 40-yard field goal try from Bucs kicker Chase McLaughlin. The Bucs once again failed to punch in a touchdown after passing into Bears territory.

The Bucs recovered the blocked punt around midfield, turning it over to the Bears.

Jaquan Brisker, Eddie Jackson exit game with apparent injuries

Bears safety Jaquan Brisker exited the game in the first quarter with an apparent injury. Brisker was looking at his leg when he came off the field. Team trainers met with him for a while before he made the long walk back to the team locker room. The Bears later announced that Brisker was questionable to return due to an illness.

Moments later, safety Eddie Jackson also exited the game holding his left foot. Jackson walked off under his own power, but then spent a long time with team trainers in the sideline injury tent. The Bears brought out a cart for Jackson to ride back to the team locker room. The Bears later noted that Jackson is “questionable” to return to the game.

With Brisker and Jackson out, backups Elijah Hicks and Quindell Johnson took over at the safety position. The Bears do not have any additional safeties available in the game.

Fields runs in touchdown

Justin Fields faked a handoff to his running back on second-and-goal from the 1-yard line. He rolled out to his right and found wide open space. Fields ran the touchdown in himself to put the Bears up, 7-3, with 6:17 remaining in the first quarter.

Fields connected with DJ Moore twice on the drive, totaling 64 yards. That matched Moore’s two catches in the season opener and already passed last week’s total of 25 receiving yards for Moore.

He connected with Moore for a 33-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage. That set the tone for the drive. The Bears went 75 yards on six plays.

Bucs score first

The Bucs drove 77 yards in 12 plays on the game’s opening drive and scored a 26-yard field goal from kicker Chase McLaughlin. The Bucs converted on two of three third-down attempts on the drive.

Safety Jaquan Brisker nearly had an interception on the game’s second play from scrimmage. He dropped a pass that was in his hands. Later, he came up with a fumble recovery on a Bucs run, but the refs ruled that they had blown the play dead already. Brisker wanted Eberflus to challenge but the coach did not.

D’Onta Foreman is a healthy scratch; Velus Jones will play

Bears running back D’Onta Foreman is inactive for Sunday’s game and will not play. Foreman is a healthy scratch. Expect to see running backs Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson carrying the load at running back.

Additionally, quarterback Tyson Bagent, defensive end Khalid Kareem, receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, cornerback Josh Blackwell and lineman Nate Davis are inactive. Bagent will serve as the emergency third quarterback.

That means that receiver Velus Jones Jr. is active and will play in the game. It also confirms that Blackwell is out and Greg Stroman Jr. is likely to play at nickel corner.

Nate Davis will not play

Bears starting right guard Nate Davis has been ruled out for Sunday’s game due to a personal reason. He did not fly with the team to Tampa.

Davis was in and out of practice throughout the spring and during training camp. He did, however, play in the Week 1 opener against the Packers. According to a report from ESPN’s Courtney Cronin, Davis is dealing with a death in the family after a prolonged family health situation. That would better explain his frequent absences during August.

With Davis out, the Bears have elevated offensive lineman Aviante Collins from the practice squad. Veteran lineman Dan Feeney or second-year pro Ja’Tyre Carter are the likely candidates to start at right guard in place of Davis.

The Bears will also be without defensive coordinator Alan Williams, who coincidentally is also out due to a personal reason.

Receiver Chase Claypool, meanwhile, is expected to play, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. This is no surprise, though. Claypool has taken some heat this week for his lack of effort in pass blocking. When asked about it this week, Eberflus left open the possibility that Claypool could be inactive. But Bears wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert indicated that Claypool would play.

“That’s Ryan Poles and Eberflus decision,” Tolbert said. “He’s been practicing and taking all the normal reps.”

What to expect from Tampa Bay

The Bucs are coming off a win over the Vikings. Their defense looked potent and Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield played mistake-free football for the offense.

The Bears offense notably struggled in last week’s opener. Here are three things the offense must do to turn things around. Shaw Local Bears analyst Marc Silverman wants to see a better effort from the Bears in Week 2. Read his column here.

What’s it going to take for the Bears to beat the Bucs this week? Here’s Shaw Local’s five storylines to watch in this game. The Buccaneers still have weapons. Seven of their 11 defensive starters were on the team last time the Bears visited Tampa, when Fields turned the ball over five times.

The matchup to watch when the Bears defense is on the field will be in the slot. The Bears might be down to their third nickel cornerback, practice squad call-up Greg Stroman Jr. The Bucs have one of the league’s best slot receivers in Chris Godwin. Starting nickel Kyler Gordon had surgery on his broken hand this week. Backup Josh Blackwell could miss the game due to a hamstring injury.

For your pregame listening needs, check out Shaw Local’s Bears Insider podcast.

What else did I miss this week?

Here’s what else was happening at Bears headquarters in Lake Forest this week.

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.