As Zach Miller lay on the turf suffering from his dislocated left knee Sunday, the Superdome videoboard showed the replay.
Again. And again. And again.
As officials reviewed Miller’s touchdown catch, the stadium followed suit by showing it to fans so they could follow along, which is customary for any play under video review. However, that meant showing Miller’s gruesome injury on repeat. It played at least a half dozen times.
Each time, fans groaned at the moment Miller’s leg jolted out of the joint. Afterward, Bears receiver Kendall Wright took exception to it.
“I think it’s really, really disrespectful of the Saints,” Wright said. “I don’t care if they were challenging or not. It was really disrespectful to show that play on the replay screen more than five times. I don’t know what you get out of that. And I’m sure people don’t want to look at that.”
To be clear, the play was automatically subject to video review because it was initially ruled a scoring play. The call was overturned and ruled an incompletion, a critical turn in the Bears’ 20-12 defeat.
Thin line: Right guard Kyle Long spent much of Sunday afternoon with his helmet off, pacing the sidelines.
Center Cody Whitehair joined him as a spectator in the second half. That left the Bears trying to mount a comeback without two starting offensive linemen.
Long exited in the first quarter with a hand injury, and Whitehair left with an elbow injury. The Bears slid left guard Josh Sitton to center, put Bradley Sowell in at left guard and used Tom Compton at right guard.
“It’s tough,” Whitehair said. “The other guys who came in did a really nice job. They handled the noise well, and we had an opportunity to win.”
Whitehair said he probably could have returned to the game, but the Bears didn’t want to risk it. Coach John Fox said Long likely could have gone back in too, but he thought it was better to go with a healthy Compton.
“I was blocking the defensive tackle and I had my hands in his armpit, shoulder pads, and he spun this way,” Long said. “My knuckles just got caught under his pads. I had some stuff going in some directions that wasn’t too pleasant.”
Sitton declined an interview request.
Great heights: Officials initially ruled running back Tarik Cohen down at the 1-yard line on his fourth-quarter leap toward the end zone. Then they changed the call, even before replay confirmed Cohen crossed the goal line.
The 5-foot-6 rookie never doubted he was in.
“When (the ref) said I was short, I thought he was talking about my height,” Cohen cracked.
He finished with four carries for 2 yards, while Jordan Howard had 102 yards on 23 attempts.
Running Mitch: The offense discovered an explosive element that has consistently eluded them. Entering the game, they had gained at least 45 yards on a play only three times all season. Sunday, they had three more: a 50-yard run by Howard, a 46-yard scramble by Mitch Trubisky and a 45-yard completion to Tre McBride.
On Trubisky’s scramble, he beat a Cover-0 blitz. The Saints had four defenders in man-to-man coverage with their backs to Trubisky, so the rookie simply jetted upfield.
“Just open space — keep running” he said. “Keep running. Didn’t want to get caught from behind. Didn’t want to take a big hit.”
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