Justin Fields was ruled out and Trevor Siemian was prepared to step in as the Chicago Bears’ starting quarterback on Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J., against the Jets. Until something went wrong early in warmups.
Siemian strained his oblique before the 31-10 loss. Chicago announced Nathan Peterman, just elevated Saturday from the practice squad, would get the start. At which point Siemian gritted through his injury and threw on the sideline, along with Peterman.
“Throwing, something wasn’t right,” Siemian said. “It flared up on me. Got back in the locker room, figured something wasn’t right but I gave it a go. . . . I didn’t get a shot. Just some medicine.”
And he got the start, after all.
“When you’re a passer, that’s obviously a big issue to throw the ball down the field,” coach Matt Eberflus said of Siemian’s injury. “He came in and got some medication, thought it was going to be OK. He went through pregame warmup, he came back in and felt he was OK.
“And Nate was ready to go the whole time.”
Siemian acknowledged the injury bothered him a bit during the game, and he finished 14 of 25 for 179 yards with one touchdown and an interception. He was also sacked twice.
“Honestly, I’m more embarrassed to get an injury,” he said after his first start since last season while with New Orleans. “You’ve got guys in there in Week 12 or 13 going through hell. And I had a non-contact thing show up."
Either way, the Bears (3-9) clearly missed Fields, who sat out with an injured left shoulder and watch the Jets’ defense tee off.
“We think that he’s getting better, every single day,” Eberflus said. “At game time today, he wasn’t ready to perform and protect himself. We’ll see how it goes. I think we’ll leave it day to day.”
Hit ‘em in the mouth
Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay took a frightening shot to the jaw from the helmet of Roger Carter as the tight end checked into Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs, leaving the coach wiggling it to make sure it was still working properly.
Carter sent McVay’s headset spinning when he ploughed through him on his way to the field in the first quarter. Rams trainers examined McVay briefly, but he never left the sideline.
Things couldn’t get much worse for him at this point. The Rams are 3-8, and their loss Sunday was their fifth straight, tying the 1987 Giants for the longest losing streak by a reigning champ.
Sean Taylor honored
The Washington Commanders unveiled a helmet, No. 21 jersey, pants, and cleats stood up in mannequin form as a memorial to Sean Taylor on Sunday, the 15th anniversary of the late safety’s death.
It was not a statue but rather a glass-enclosed installation on the concourse of FedEx Field, which drew ire on social media for being mismatched and falling short of what many hoped and expected it would be.
“Sean Taylor Deserved a Statue,” former Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III tweeted.
Members of Taylor’s family were on hand for the pregame ceremony, a decade and a half to the day he died at age 24 after being shot in the upper thigh by an intruder in his Miami home. A mural honoring Taylor was also revealed.
Following his team’s victory against Atlanta, coach Ron Rivera opened his news conference, “On the 15th anniversary of the passing of Sean Taylor, this one’s for the Taylor family.”
Some on social media pointed out the display included a strange mix of a Nike jersey, Reebok pants, and Adidas cleats. The use of soccer cleats instead of football ones also sparked criticism, but Taylor’s daughter, Jackie, said it was intentional.
“It was something that was super special to him and something he chose to do,” she told the local CBS affiliate, WUSA9. “It was beautiful, honestly. They put everything that he wore — soccer cleats, little things that were special to him and that he did as a player. That was really special.”
The team retired Taylor’s number last season in what looked to be a hastily put together ceremony, announcing it only four days before. Several alumni said they were unable to make it because of the late notice.
Lamar Jackson cracks back
⋅ Lamar Jackson didn’t seem to handle losing to Jacksonville very well, blasting a fan on Twitter after Baltimore’s loss in Jacksonville for suggesting the Ravens let the star quarterback leave in free agency at the end of this season because “games like this should not come down to” kicker Justin Tucker, who came up short on a 67-yard field goal try on the final play.
The fan added, “Let Lamar walk and spend that money on a well-rounded team.” Jackson snapped back using profane and inflammatory language, saying the fan “never smelt a football field” before later deleting his response.
“I don’t like losing,” said Jackson, who completed 16 of 32 passes for 254 yards and a touchdown. “Nobody likes losing, but it is what it is.”
⋅ Houston coach Lovie Smith shut speculation down quickly after an ugly loss to Miami: He’s sticking with Kyle Allen at quarterback.
“We’re not going to put a guy, give him his first start and start yanking and things like that,” Smith said. “We let a guy play. We want to see him. We’ve got to eliminate those turnovers. But I thought he did some good things throughout the game. But we’re not quite there yet as a team.”
Allen, who started in place of struggling second-year quarterback Davis Mills, was 26-of-39 passing with 215 yards and two interceptions. He was candid after the game about his poor play.
⋅ A skunk was on the loose in the stands inside FirstEnergy Stadium during Cleveland’s victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The critter was initially spotted going up and down steps in a section of seats near the tunnel to the Browns locker room. Fans kept their distance from the skunk, which searched the aisles and under seats for food before hiding under a step.
A security guard placed a box over the animal, which wasn’t harmed and eventually worked itself free after the Browns rallied to win.
It was the second unwanted trespasser to invade Cleveland’s lakefront stadium this week. On Tuesday, an unknown person drove a vehicle in circles around the stadium’s grass field, causing tire marks and grooves that were still visible on the field’s western half.
⋅ In the first quarter of the Dolphins’ win, Jaylen Waddle broke Miami’s franchise record for the most receiving yards (1,926) in the first two seasons of a career. Jarvis Landry, now with New Orleans, previously held the mark.
⋅ The Jets inducted former cornerback Darrelle Revis into the team’s Ring of Honor at halftime. Revis, a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, was one of the NFL’s top shutdown cornerbacks in his prime. Revis played for the Jets from 2007-12 and 2015-16, spending the 2014 season with the Patriots.