It was ugly in more ways than one for the receiving corps of the Chicago Bears in their recent Wild Card loss to the New Orleans Saints. First, there was The Drop. Third-year wide receiver Javon Wims was the benefactor of a rare thing in this current Bears offense: a gadget play that was both timed and executed perfectly. Well, almost perfectly.
After running back David Montgomery took the snap, he pitched the ball to quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who also did something increasingly rare in Chicago: He chucked a perfectly placed 40-yard pass to Wims in the end zone. The throw was arguably Trubisky’s best of the season, but it didn’t matter, because Wims let it slip right through his hands.
Wims, who is best known by many for being ejected for punching Saints defensive back CJ Gardner-Johnson when these teams last met in Week 8, seems to save his worst performances for New Orleans.
Then, there’s Anthony Miller.
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Miller’s Ejection Cost His Team, Big Time
Already down one starting wide receiver with Darnell Mooney injured, the Bears needed a big game out of Miller. Instead, the former second-round pick left his team high and dry when he was ejected for pulling a Wims and punching Gardner-Johnson. It was the second ejection of Miller’s three-year career.
Coach Matt Nagy revealed after the game that the team had taken time in practice this week to talk to their players specifically about Gardner-Johnson. “We spent time literally showing and explaining a particular player’s actions in games and teaching it,” Nagy said. “That’s taking 10 or 15 minutes out of your day, which is precious … that’s two times that that happened, and we just can’t have it.”
Nagy didn’t say Gardner-Johnson’s name, but it’s obvious who he’s referring to.
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Saints Players Drag Miller & Wims
Gardner-Johnson, who has been a primary antagonist for the Bears this season, took a jab at Miller on social media: “2 for 22 I see why you mad. Boy can’t get open,” Gardner-Johnson Tweeted, in reference to Miller’s two catches for 22 yards in the game.
When asked by the media to describe the incident with Miller, Gardner-Johnson said, per Nola.com: “I just play ball.”
“We’re here to win football games, I’m not worried about nothing else,” the Saints defensive back added. “I’m here to help my teammates, I’m not here to be an individual show.”
Saints corner Marshon Lattimore told ESPN. he’s a big fan of the way his teammate gets inside opposing receivers’ heads: “He’s the one that’s getting in people’s heads. We need that, we’re playing defense. Whatever we gotta do to win.”
For his part, Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins also Tweeted his appreciation for Gardner-Johnson’s unique ability to annoy people:
Wims was also subject to ridicule after his big, costly drop:
“I was glad he dropped it. I was laughing. He should’ve caught it, it’s the playoffs,” Lattimore told ESPN. “Him doing that to Duce [a reference to Wims punching Gardner-Johnson Week 8], so, of course I’m gonna laugh.”
Cam Jordan Also Has Unflattering Comments About Mitch Trubisky
In an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show Tuesday, Eisen asked the Saints defensive end if he felt Trubisky was a threatening quarterback in the league, and after a very extended pause, Jordan asked: “Can I plead the fifth?”
Jordan’s not the first defensive opponent to throw a little shade Trubisky’s way. After beating Trubisky and the Bears Week 1 in 2019, then-Packers defensive back Tramon Williams said the following, per The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman:
“We wanted to make Mitch play quarterback … We knew if we could make Mitch play quarterback, that we’d have a chance.”
Trubisky had his best year as a pro in 2018, and Williams said that just one game into the 2019 season, so it’s clear many NFC opponents don’t exactly revere the former second overall pick.
Trubisky is slated to be a free agent this offseason, and it remains to be seen whether they attempt to bring him back. As of now, though, it probably wouldn’t be advisable for Trubisky to buy any prime real estate in the Chicago area any time soon.