Bears hope Leatherwood learned from adversity vs. Eagles


LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Bears want to see more of offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood over the final few games of the regular season. The 2021 first-round pick played 10 snaps in the Bears' Week 13 loss to the Green Bay Packers and acquitted himself well.

The plan was to give him a little more action Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles' vaunted defensive front as part of a platoon with veteran Riley Reiff.

Leatherwood played 17 snaps in the Bears' 25-20 loss to the Eagles at Soldier Field, and struggled to keep the pressure off quarterback Justin Fields. Per Pro Football Focus, Leatherwood allowed three hurries and one sack (four pressures) in 10 pass-blocking snaps. He did not allow a pressure in seven pass-blocking snaps against the Packers in Week 13.

The Bears hope the experience of facing a Super Bowl-caliber defensive line will benefit Leatherwood in the long run.

"You know I thought he got some good reps there," head coach Matt Eberflus said of Leatherwood on Monday. "I thought he had some good moments in there going against some good pass rushers. You know, so I think he learned some in there as well. He had some adversity. You know that is always going to happen when you play some good rushers and he just has to build upon that and learn from that experience."

The Bears claimed Leatherwood off waivers from the Las Vegas Raiders prior to Week 1. In doing so, they also assumed the remaining years of his rookie contract and maintain the right to exercise his fifth-year option.

Chicago's offensive line has several question marks as the Bears head into a critical offseason. The Bears would like to see Leatherwood continue to progress and put himself in the mix to be a long-term answer at tackle or guard. They've liked the work they have seen from him in practice, but the on-field results have been hit-and-miss to this point.

Whether or not Leatherwood's opportunities will continue to increase remains to be seen. Eberflus said Monday that the right tackle situation is up in the air at the moment. Larry Borom's potential return from a knee injury could play a factor in how the Bears approach the platoon in Week 16 against the Bills.

RELATED: Kyler's growth silver lining of Bears' loss vs. Eagles

Here's the snap count from the Bears' 25-20 loss to the Eagles:

Quarterback: Justin Fields 58, Nathan Peterman 1

Running back: David Montgomery 40, Darrynton Evans 16, Khari Blasingame 7, Trestan Ebner 5

Wide receiver: Byron Pringle 53, Dante Pettis 47, Velus Jones Jr. 40, Nsimba Webster 10, Equanimeous St. Brown 3

Tight end: Cole Kmet 59, Ryan Griffin 15

Offensive line: Braxton Jones 59, Cody Whitehair 59, Sam Mustipher 59, Michael Schofield 55, Riley Reiff 42, Alex Leatherwood 17, Teven Jenkins 4

Defensive line: Justin Jones 57, Trevis Gipson 49, Armon Watts 47, Dominique Robinson 39, Al-Quadin Muhammad 37, Mike Pennel 22, Taco Charlton 20, Andrew Brown 17, Angelo Blackson 5

Linebacker: Nicholas Morrow 73, Joe Thomas 43, Jack Sanborn 30, Matt Adams 17

Defensive backs: DeAndre Houston-Carson 73, Kyler Gordon 73, Jaquan Brisker 73, Jaylon Jones 64, Jaylon Johnson 64, Josh Blackwell 1

Special teams: Adams 21, Thomas 19, Sterling Weatherford 17, Blasingame 17, Blackwell 16, Griffin 16, Elijah Hicks 15, Trenton Gill 12, A.J. Thomas 12, Ebner 12, Evans 12, Houston-Carson 12, Webster 10, Patrick Scales 9, Jake Tonges 7, Robinson 7, Blackson 7, Velus Jones Jr. 6, Gordon 5, Cairo Santos 4, Gipson 4, Justin Jones 4, Morrow 4, Whitehair 3, Braxton Jones 3, Schofield 3, Leatherwood 3, Jaylon Jones 3, Sanborn 3, Dieter Eiselen 3, Pettis 2, Mustipher 2, Reiff 1, Brisker 1

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