A few weeks ago, the Chicago Bears acquired defensive end Montez Sweat from the Washington Commanders in an attempt to salvage what has been a disappointing season.
But it hasn’t happened, as the Bears have won just one of their three games with Sweat on board and have fallen to a 3-8 record on the year.
In his three games with Chicago, Sweat has just 1.0 sacks, four tackles (three solo), four quarterback hits, and one tackle for loss, and he hasn’t played in most of their defensive snaps during that span.
Head coach Matt Eburflus was asked about Sweat’s low snap count, and his rationalization was that he platoons his players, per Harrison Graham.
Matt Eberflus when asked if Montez Sweat should play more snaps (39/62 snaps – 63%), whereas Aidan Hutchinson played 92% of snaps had this to say:
“That’s just how we do it, we platoon those guys.”
Uhhhhh, WHAT? If you’re gonna go strictly rotation, you don’t trade for & pay…
— Harrison Graham (@HGrahamNFL) November 20, 2023
Sweat isn’t some average or slightly above-average player who should be platooned with certain teammates — he was a first-round draft pick in 2019 and one of the more sought-after defensive players on the trade market prior to the trade deadline.
Last year, he had 8.0 sacks, 28 quarterback hits, and 14 tackles for loss while helping the undermanned Commanders come close to claiming a playoff spot in the NFC.
The Bears currently rank 26th in passing yards allowed, 29th in points allowed, and 30th in passing touchdowns allowed this year, although they did force three interceptions in their loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
They were hoping that quarterback Justin Fields would blossom this season, but he continues to disappoint — while he completed 16 of 23 passes on Sunday, he threw for only 169 yards and one touchdown.