Chicago deactivated the embattled wide receiver ahead of its game against the Denver Broncos on October 1. Head coach Matt Eberflus said after the contest that unlike the other inactive members of the Bears’ roster, Claypool was not in attendance for the contest.
“When you look at actives or inactives every single week, what we do is we … evaluate meetings, we evaluate walk-throughs, we evaluate practice,” Eberflus said. “And then we declare actives or inactives based on that. And this week, Claypool was inactive.”
Reporters then asked Eberflus if Claypool stayed home of his own accord.
“We told him that it was a choice,” Eberflus said, “and he’s at home right now.”
The organization contradicted that comment from its head coach later in the day.
“UPDATE: A Bears team spokesman is now clarifying that the team asked WR Chase Claypool to stay home from the game today,” Adam Jahns of The Athletic posted on X.
Relationship Between Bears, Chase Claypool May Be Beyond Repair
Eberflus went on to say that he “anticipates” Claypool will remain a member of the team and that he expects the wide receiver to be in the building on Monday.
That said, dismissing a player isn’t often something a professional NFL relationship endures. The Cleveland Browns dismissed former defensive end Jadeveon Clowney in early January after he publicly criticized the coaching staff and its utilization of both himself and Myles Garrett. Clowney never played another snap for the Browns and is now a member of the Baltimore Ravens.
Claypool made similar comments on Friday when a reporter asked him he felt the Bears coaching staff was deploying him in the most conducive way to maximize his skill set. Claypool thought for a couple of seconds then answered, “No.”
Eberflus said that Claypool didn’t know at the time of his comments that he would be inactive Sunday against Denver, as the coaching staff makes those decisions just before the game. Eberflus also said that Claypool’s comments did not play a role in his inactive status against the Broncos.
Chase Claypool Has Had Nothing but Problems Since Joining Bears
There has been friction between the Bears and Claypool since the offseason when the team took issue with the wideout’s work ethic. Claypool also met criticism for his blocking efforts on the outside during the Chicago’s season opener against the Green Bay Packers.
His on-field performance has been a problem since Chicago dealt what became the No. 32 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to acquire Claypool from the Pittsburgh Steelers ahead of last season’s trade deadline.
Claypool made just 14 catches for 140 yards and zero touchdowns across seven games played for the Bears in 2022, per Pro Football Reference. He’s made 4 catches for 51 yards and 1 TD in three appearances this year.