Lance Briggs was supposed to make a big return to the Chicago Bears after being out of action since Oct. 20 with a shoulder fracture, but the Pro Bowl outside linebacker struggled mightily as the Bears lost 54-11 to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Despite the personal struggles of Briggs who looked completely out of shape and not in NFL condition was supported by Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker.
LM: Tucker: “I was pleased with what Lance [Briggs] did in the game. He played fast, he was physical.” Briggs played 58 snaps.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 23, 2013
Prior to being activated many had speculated if Briggs had put on any weight during his extended period of inactivity and if it would inhibit his playmaking ability against a fast and open Eagles offense.
Tucker on Briggs’ conditioning: “I didn’t see his conditioning to be an issue relative to how long he has been out.”
— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) December 23, 2013
A coach should always stick up for his players, but this is a case where anyone with a set of eyes could tell that Briggs looked like a shell of the perennial pro bowler.
Bears head coach Mark Trestman was a bit more succinct in his evaluation of No. 55 at Monday’s press conference when he said, “I thought he played hard and played well in spurts.”
He played well in spurts meaning a bulk of the 58 snaps Briggs played were not to the level the Bears needed to slow down the Eagles Sunday night.
Perhaps this was a case of him knocking off the rust and getting back into shape, but even if he was 5 years younger and in the prime of his career it wouldn’t have been enough to help the Bears vs. Philadelphia.
The best part thing you can say about Briggs’ performance was that at least he came out of it healthy.