Anthony Miller should have known better. The Chicago Bears wide receiver was warned specifically about Chauncey Gardner-Johnson heading into the game this weekend, and he simply didn’t listen. In the Bears’ 21-9 Wild Card loss to the New Orleans Saints Sunday, Miller became the team’s second wide receiver to get ejected this season for getting physical with the Saints defensive back.
Gardner-Johnson is a notorious trash talker — his own teammate, wide receiver Michael Thomas, even got disciplined for punching him — and the Bears know this all too well. Receiver Javon Wims get ejected for punching Gardner-Johnson Week 8 after the safety ripped off Wims’ mouthpiece and threw it. So when Miller was ejected in the third quarter of the Wild Card game for pushing Gardner-Johnson, it had to be baffling and beyond frustrating for Chicago.
After the game, head coach Matt Nagy revealed that the team had been warned about the behavior of Gardner-Johnson specifically — and yet Miller still found the need to react.
ALL the latest Bears news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Bears newsletter here!
Matt Nagy Said Team Spent Time Discussing Gardner-Johnson Last Week
When he was asked about Miller’s ejection, Nagy had this to say after the game:
Here’s what I would say to that. We spent some time now on Wednesday morning as a team. We spent time literally showing and explaining a particular player’s actions in games and teaching it. That’s taking 10 or 15 minutes out of your day, which is precious. And so when you do that, I think it’s a valuable lesson for our guys. We already knew going into this thing about some of that, right? What do we talk about? Every action has a reaction, and so I think it’s a valuable one, especially when we’re low with numbers at the wide receiver position, and the value of that Zebra position for us, and so again it’s something where our guys, we’ve all got to understand we’ve got to be stronger and we can’t have that happen, and we’ve got to understand that … That’s two times that that happened, and we just can’t have it.
The “particular player” Nagy referenced was clearly Gardner-Johnson, which makes Miller’s lapse in judgment particularly egregious. The Bears traded up to select the former Memphis receiver in the second round in 2018, and they’ve been waiting for him to breakout ever since. In a game in which starting wideout Darnell Mooney was sidelined with an ankle injury, the Bears needed Miller to step up more than ever. Instead, he got ejected when his team needed him most — and that doesn’t bode well for his future in Chicago.
Follow the Heavy on Bears Facebook page, where you can weigh in on all the latest Bears-related breaking news, rumors, content and more!
Could Miller Be Gone Next Season?
After watching Miller get visibly frustrated to the point of pushing Gardner-Johnson, a huge swath of Bears Twitter felt that, coupled with Miller’s inconsistent on-field performance, could be the last straw for him in the Windy City.
Miller was also asked about playing against Gardner-Johnson earlier in the week, and he said this, per the Chicago Sun-Times: “Who? … We’re just going to play our game. Guys like that do what they do, but your bark can’t be louder than your bite, and it’s hard to bite, so I’m not worried about that.”
Now, Miller may have to be worrying about something else entirely: where he’s playing in 2021.