Amid swirling rumors about his job security, Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy said Monday he is operating under the assumption that he will coach the team’s final two games of the regular season.
The Bears have never fired a coach during the season, but a new NFL rule allows teams to begin interviewing candidates during the final two weeks of the regular season if the coach is either no longer employed or has been given notice that he won’t return for 2022. Nagy denied a report last month that he had been told that he would be fired after the Thanksgiving Day game at the Detroit Lions.
The Bears (5-10) snapped a three-game losing streak Sunday with a 25-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, but they are among eight teams that have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Asked Monday if he assumed he will coach out the season, Nagy nodded and said: “Yes.”
Earlier, Nagy said he was aware of no changes to the timing of the Bears’ annual evaluation process for coaches, which typically concludes after the regular season. He did note his players’ effort level in what was an otherwise meaningless game Sunday in Seattle.
“One thing you can always evaluate is effort from players,” he said. “You never know [what the result will be]. But you can always judge effort. We saw that yesterday. … You value that. It states to who the players are in this building. They deserve that and they deserve to have the feeling to win. It’s been a little while. When you get a chance to get a win, you’ve got to enjoy it. And for me personally, I’m just really happy for the players.”
Also Monday, Nagy announced that five players were returning from the reserve/COVID-19 list: wide receiver Allen Robinson, safety Tashaun Gipson, cornerback Jaylon Johnson, tight end Jesse James and running back Ryan Nall.