‘A real uneasy feeling’
Khalil Mack had a hard time watching Bears-Jets from sideline
Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack said he had “a real uneasy feeling” watching Sunday’s 24-10 victory over the Jets from the sideline.
Mack sat out for the first time in 71 career games and is questionable to play in the 72nd Sunday against the Bills at New Era Field.
After participating in Friday’s practice at Halas Hall in a limited capacity for the first time this week, Mack wouldn’t answer questions about the injured right ankle that has slowed him for three weeks. Bears coach Matt Nagy continued to say the decision to play Mack is “day to day.”
But it’s clear what Mack would prefer to do.
“It felt different,” Mack said of missing the game. “I felt like a coach. I just wanted to do what I could as far as helping guys understand what was going to happen early and give the best feedback I could and be a great teammate.
“It was a real uneasy feeling being over there, but at the same time I’m glad we got the win. Those guys did a heck of a job. They looked real good. Our defense looked real good.”
Nagy said he wouldn’t fault Mack for especially wanting to play at Buffalo, where he first made a national name for himself on the football field at the University at Buffalo. Mack still owns the school career records with 75 tackles for loss, 28½ sacks and 16 forced fumbles, and his brother, Ledarius, is a junior defensive end there.
“It's always cool to go back to where you played in college,” Mack said. “Being that I have a lot of friends and people out there, my little brother out there representing the Mack name. It’s just real special when you get to go back to your old stomping grounds.”
Wide receiver Allen Robinson and rookie defensive lineman Bilal Nichols also were listed as questionable for Sunday. Robinson sat out the Jets game with a groin injury and was limited in practice Friday. Nichols has missed two straight practices with a knee injury Nagy called “an overusage type deal.”
Nagy said he expects all three to travel with the team, as should guard Eric Kush, who practiced in full after being limited with a neck injury earlier this week. Left guard Kyle Long (foot) and tight end Ben Braunecker (concussion) were declared out for the game.
Nagy said he didn’t know if it would come down to game-day testing as to whether Mack or Robinson would play.
“I feel like we’re getting close,” he said of Mack. “I just don’t know exactly.”
Robinson said his recovery is “about being smart,” though the patience isn’t always easy.
“Being sidelined is probably the worst thing in sports,” Robinson said. “This is what you love. This is what you live to do. When you’re not able to do that, it’s definitely frustrating.”
Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack lines up against the Patriots on Oct. 21 in Chicago. The Patriots won 38-31.