LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Less than 12 hours after the Chicago Bears earned their most important regular-season victory in close to a decade, coach Matt Nagy is already bracing for one of the tightest turnarounds in league history.
“I don’t think there are many coaches or players that have ever been through a Sunday night game to a day game on a Thursday, but that’s what it is,” Nagy said on Monday.
The NFL’s decision to flex Chicago’s Week 11 game against the Minnesota Vikings to Sunday night means the Bears will become the first team since the 1970 merger to play at 1 p.m. ET or earlier on three days rest immediately following a prime-time game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Bears (7-3), fresh off their 25-20 win over the Vikings, have to now play Thursday in Detroit where kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET.
“I have not gone back and watched the tape of the Vikings game, so we’re on to Detroit,” Nagy said. “What I saw last night was what I saw. We’re moving on here to Detroit.”
Nagy told reporters that Bears players will report to Halas Hall on Monday afternoon for classroom work and possibly a light walk-through before the team holds a regular practice on Tuesday. The Bears depart for Detroit on Wednesday.
“The No. 1 thing is to make sure these guys are taken care of, see where they’re at physically and then mentally,” Nagy said. “But really we just want to send home the message of ‘here we go.’ It’s right back at it.”
“We want to work smarter, not harder.”
Adding to the scheduling quirk is the fact Chicago just faced the Lions on Nov. 11, a game the Bears won convincingly 34-22.
“We’ll just have to handle what we can handle, prepare as we prepare,” Nagy said. “They’re on a short week, too. To me, there’s no advantage or disadvantage either way.”