At the conclusion of the 2021 regular season, it looked like Trevis Gipson was set to be one of the top young pass rushers for the Chicago Bears for years to come.
Filling in for an injured Khalil Mack, Gipson flashed during the second half of the season, and he finished with a strong stat line in his second season. In 229 pass rush snaps, Gipson had 27 total pressures, a QB hit, 16 hurries and 10.0 sacks, per Pro Football Focus.
A new general manager and head coach took over after the 2021 season, however, and the third-year edge rusher had to prove himself all over again. Gipson is currently behind free agent addition Al-Quadin Muhammad on the team’s depth chart, and he saw fifth-round rookie Dominique Robinson take more snaps than him in Chicago’s Week 1 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
While Robinson only had 28 snaps to Gipson’s 26, the rookie did more with his opportunities. Robinson was PFF’s second-highest graded rookie after Week 1, finishing with three pressures, a QB hurry and 2.0 sacks. While Gipson still produced — he had four pressures, a QB hit and three hurries against the 49ers — he wasn’t drafted by current general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus and Robinson was.
Is Gipson Team’s 4th Pass Rusher?
Andrew Dannehy of Da Bears Blog thinks Gipson, 25, is a player worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses.
“Trevis Gipson entered this season as a player many pegged for a breakout campaign, but the opener made it look like the Bears simply don’t see him the same way,” Dannehy wrote on September 14. “Gipson came on strong at the end of last year, finishing with seven sacks and five forced fumbles. But when the team’s first depth chart came out last week, he was behind Al-Quadin Muhammad. … It’s only one game, but what was thought to be a breakout player is probably their fourth edge player right now.”
Veteran Robert Quinn is obviously the team’s top pass rusher after finishing with 18.5 sacks last year, but Gipson was in the mix to be No. 2 throughout the preseason. According to one team insider, Gipson still has a lot to prove to Eberflus and company.
Gipson Not Seen as ‘Premier Edge Threat,’ Insider Says
While re-tweeting Dannehy’s article, DBB insider Jeff Hughes added this nugget about the situation via Twitter:
“Trevis is not currently viewed by this staff as a premier edge threat. (This was obvious to me all summer.)”
Hughes has been one of the most accurate insiders covering the team in recent years, so when he tweets something like that, it’s noteworthy.
A fifth-round pick out of Tulsa for Chicago in 2020, Gipson has appeared in 24 games for the Bears, starting nine. All nine of his starts came last season.
Gipson certainly has ample time to show the new regime that he can be a difference-maker on defense — but he had better start having some standout performances soon if he wants to increase his value to the team.
If Robinson continues his dominance, though, it might not matter much.