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Chicago Bears come to Trubisky’s aid after late hit

December 24, 2018

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- His teammates had already witnessed QB Mitch Trubisky miss two games earlier this season with a shoulder injury caused by a late hit from Vikings S Harrison Smith after the quarterback had given himself up by sliding.

So, when Trubisky slid after scrambling for an apparent first down with just over five minutes left but still took a shot from 49ers S Marcel Harris, it set off a wild brawl along the sideline. When all the flags had been picked up and after officials discussed the ramifications for several minutes, Harris’ unnecessary roughness penalty was offset by a holding call on Bears OLT Charles Leno. For their part in the melee, Bears WRs Josh Bellamy and Anthony Miller, along with 49ers CB Richard Sherman were disqualified.

“Yeah, that hit a little pressure point with everybody,” Bellamy said. “We’re always going to have our guy’s back. Unfortunately it happened that way, but we just have to learn to control our emotions.”

Miller confirmed that he would react the same way if the situation arose again.

“I just saw Mitch hit the ground real hard, and I knew it was an unnecessary hit, so nobody has to tell me nothing to go in there, because that’s my quarterback,” Miller said. “He already missed a couple games because of a late hit, so when I see something like that, that’s dirty football, and I don’t support that.”

Both players will be fined by the league, but Bellamy said they were more concerned with coach Matt Nagy’s reaction.

“We ain’t talked to him yet,” a sheepish Bellamy said, “we’re kind of keeping our heads low like little kids right now.”

Not to worry, Nagy said a few minutes later.

“They shouldn’t feel that way because they just got a win, and they earned it. They fought hard for it.”

Bellamy said the reaction was a demonstration of the brotherhood that has developed, as the team has grown closer with each week and each victory.

“It ain’t nothin’ we have to prove or say,” Bellamy said. “Hey, y’all know how we rock; we’ve got each other’s back at all times.”

The disqualified players were banished to the locker room, but Miller said they were still able to enjoy the victory.

“It was cool,” he said. “We turned the TV on and watched the boys win. We knew they’d pull it out, and once the defense got on the field, I knew they’d get the stop.”

Rescue mission

The Bears defense did not allow a touchdown for the second time in three games, even when QB Mitch Trubisky’s ill-advised lateral to Tarik Cohen was recovered by the 49ers at the Chicago’s 26-yard line. The 49ers managed just one first down before settling for Robbie Gould’s 30-yard field goal.

Then, with two minutes left, it appeared the Bears would run out the clock when Trubisky found Allen Robinson cruising across the middle for 10 yards on third-and-3. But CB Tarvarius Moore punched the all out from behind and the Niners had the ball down 14-9 with 1:52 remaining.

Defense to the rescue.

“We were ready to go,” said ILB Danny Trevathan, who interception midway through the fourth quarter at the Bears’ 14-yard line had thwarted a 49ers threat on their previous possession. “We know what kind of player (Robinson) is, and he rarely makes mistakes like that. We’ve got his back, so whatever goes on, we’ve got him.”

After Nick Mullens’ 25-yard completion to Kendrick Bourne, the Bears forced four straight incompletions, and the 49ers turned the ball over on downs before two Trubisky kneel-downs ended it.

The Bears have allowed a total of just one touchdown in the last three games.

Back in business

After catching just one pass for one yard in the last three games combined, rookie WR Anthony Miller got the Bears on the board late in the first half with a four-yard TD catch, and he finished with three catches for 24 yards and also returned the opening kickoff 30 yards.

“It felt good being more involved in the offense,” Miller said, “but if I’m not involved or if I am involved, as long as we get the win, that’s all that matters.”

Though he’s just fifth on the team with 33 catches and 423 yards, Miller leads the Bears with seven TD catches and trails only the Falcons’ Calvin Ridley (eight) among rookies in that category.

Sitting it out

S Eddie Jackson (sprained ankle) and OLB Aaron Lynch (sprained elbow) were inactive after not traveling to San Francisco with the team Saturday and not practicing all week.

With Jackson out, S Deon Bush got his first start of the season and had two solo tackles. The three-year veteran from Miami started six games as a rookie fourth-round pick in 2016, but his playing time has been practically nonexistent since Jackson was drafted in the fourth round in 2017.

Rookie DL Bilal Nichols (knee), who was limited on Friday as a precautionary measure, is active. The Bears’ other inactives were WRs Kevin White and Javon Wims, QB Tyler Bray, OL Rashaad Coward and DL Nick Williams. The 49ers’ inactives were starting S Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder), RB Alfred Morris, S Tyree Robinson, OL Erik Magnuson, OT Shon Coleman, NT Earl Mitchell and DL Sheldon Day.

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