Rookie Trestan Ebner was undaunted by a modest debut as a replacement for injured running Khalil Herbert. Ebner gained eight yards on six carries in the Bears’ 27-24 loss to the Falcons last week.
“I was definitely encouraged,” said Ebner, a sixth-round draft pick from Baylor. “I know if you look at the stats, you’ll be like, ‘This guy didn’t do anything.’ But if you turn on the film and watch, you’ll see there was something there. When it comes to running the ball, sometimes it’s there and sometimes it’s not.”
Ebner was most encouraged by a tough six-yard gain on an outside-zone play in the second quarter.
“It was probably one of my least favorite plays,” he said. “I just didn’t feel comfortable running it and they called it and I actually got a decent run out of it. It was nice because I felt like I couldn’t get it right in practice and I was able to go get it in the game.”
Ebner is looking forward to another opportunity and perhaps a bigger role against the Jets on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. If Trevor Siemian starts for injured quarterback Justin Fields, he likely will be needed more.
“I’m just glad I’m getting the reps because they’re making me feel more comfortable — even this week I feel more comfortable going into this game,” Ebner said. “It’s always nice when you can relax a little bit.”
Gordon, Brisker still out
Cornerback Kyler Gordon and safety Jaquan Brisker remained in concussion protocol and did not practice again Thursday. Cornerback Jaylon Jones and safety DeAndre Houston-Carson are the likely replacements, though defensive coordinator Alan Williams mentioned Elijah Hicks, Dane Cruikshank as options at safety.
Cruikshank, who did not play against the Falcons last week because of a hamstring injury, had full participation in practice Thursday. Linebacker Sterling Weatherford (concussion) did not practice.
Guard Teven Jenkins, who has missed the past two games with a hip injury, practiced in full Thursday and said he is “100% right now” heading into Sunday’s game.
He was hoping to start at this time last week, but was only available in an urgent situation.
“It just started getting sore and the pain started coming back,” Jenkins said. “I wanted to go, but I couldn’t. I felt like I couldn’t do the job for my team and play all the way.”
Gordon had seven tackles against the Falcons, including one tackle for loss. But he was called for roughing the passer when he hit Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota below the knee on a third-and-eight incompletion. It gave the Falcons a first down at the Bears 14 — though an offside penalty on Trevis Gipson would have negated the incompletion.
“No coaching point there. Stay on your feet,” defensive coordinator Alan Williams said. ‘Good athletes stay on their feet. He’s a great athlete, so just stay on your feet, run through the target area, stay up.”