Bears defensive coordinator to miss game at Tampa Bay; coach Matt Eberflus to call defensive plays

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams will miss Sunday's game at Tampa Bay for personal reasons, coach Matt Eberflus said Friday.

Eberflus, a former defensive coordinator with Indianapolis, will call the plays on defense.

“I’ve done it for 12 years total,” Eberflus said. “Really it’s more about the operation of the game management side of it. When the offense is up, it’ll be normal business. And then throwing challenge flags and being right there with (offensive coordinator) Luke (Getsy) and the offense.

“With the defense up I’ll be making the calls. When we’re off the field, to make the corrections pretty quick, the guys (position coaches) on the sideline are going to help me do that with the players. And from there it’s just about setting up the next series, what’s coming the next series for those guys, if we can communicate that.”

Eberflus did not provide a timetable for Williams' return to the team.

It’s not the only change the Bears have been dealing with on defense. Nickel back Kyler Gordon went on injured reserve Thursday because of a broken right hand and had surgery. He could return as soon as Oct. 15, Eberflus said.

Normally, Josh Blackwell would step in for Gordon when the Bears use five defensive backs. However, Blackwell is listed doubtful for Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury suffered in last Sunday’s loss to Green Bay. The Bears have elevated cornerback Greg Stroman Jr. from the practice squad.


QB Nathan Peterman will back up Justin Fields for the second straight game. ... LB Dylan Cole went through a full practice Friday after missing all preseason and last week with a hamstring injury.