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Matt Nagy thankful for how Chicago Bears handled ‘distractions’ to pull out win over Detroit Lions

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DETROIT — Matt Nagy could let out a sigh of relief on Thanksgiving.

With all the scrutiny the Chicago Bears coach faced regarding his job status over the past week, the 16-14 victory over the Lions made him extremely thankful for a much-needed celebration as they snapped a five-game losing skid.

“When there’s distractions, which is in every sport, in all facets of life — there’s always going to be distractions,” Nagy said. “It’s how you handle them. And again, we got the win today, and it could’ve went a lot of different ways. But the reason why we got the win is because of how they handled the distractions, you know? That’s where to me, when you’re in this business and you lead people, it’s my job to make sure of honest and open communication. That’s where, for me, I just can’t tell you how much this win means today to me because of what they did.”

Controversy surrounded the Bears this week after Patch.com reported on Tuesday that the Bears had already informed Nagy that Thanksgiving’s game against the Lions would be his last, regardless of the outcome. Nagy firmly denied that report, calling it “false,” and Bears team chairman George McCaskey addressed players Wednesday, reinforcing to them that Nagy would not be fired after the game.

Although players wouldn’t go into detail about the meeting, quarterback Andy Dalton said the outside noise didn’t come within the team as it was able to close out the win with a last-second 28-yard field goal by kicker Cairo Santos.

The Bears drove the ball 18 plays over the final 8:30 of the game before kicking the game-winning field goal as time expired for their first win since Week 5.

“I think that, like I said, there’s a lot that has gone on,” said Dalton, who became the first Bears QB with a 300-yard passing game since Nick Foles did it in Week 9 of the 2020 season. “The most important thing is the guys in the locker room staying together throughout it all.

“Regardless of what’s being reported, regardless of what’s going on in the outside and stuff, there’s still a lot of season left. For us, the focus is on winning games. I think that’s the biggest thing for us is just doing everything we can to put our best foot forward and to make the most of the next one, and that was today, and we did that.”

Now that the Bears have a win, Nagy is looking to go about his business to keep this team locked in.

Nagy said he hasn’t allowed the chatter about his job status to hurt his ability to coach the team and that it hasn’t affected him on a personal level because of his support system in place. He hopes to continue that with everything now cleared up.

“Again, for me, there is only my understanding, which is what it’s been since the day I signed up to be this coach, is to win as many games as I can possibly win, and do it the right way,” Nagy said of his understanding of his job security moving forward. “When you lose five games in a row, you understand. When you’re 3-7, you know what territory it can get to. You know what I mean? That comes with the job. I knew that four years ago when I took this, and so here we are. Every week is a little bit different.

“This one was definitely different. This is one of those weeks where you use it moving forward. You don’t make any predictions, but what you do is when you go home on that plane tonight and everyone’s having a good time because they’re able to celebrate and have fun watching the tape and enjoy their Thanksgiving and get back to being healthy and understand what games are next, but the only game that matters is Arizona coming up. That’s it. So again, for me, the only thing I can say to those players is that I appreciate them and we have a hell of a group of guys, players and coaches, and they showed it today by getting a win.”

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Houston Texans coach David Culley says Tyrod Taylor as starting QB to be evaluated

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HOUSTON — After the Texans‘ 31-0 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, head coach David Culley said Tyrod Taylor isn’t necessarily the team’s starting quarterback when healthy.

“When you don’t score any points during a game, you evaluate everything,” Culley said.

Culley’s admission is a departure from the stance he has taken all season, including less than a week ago when he said Taylor was the team’s starter and rookie quarterback Davis Mills would only play “if something happens to Tyrod [Taylor].”

In the third quarter on Sunday, Taylor went to the blue medical tent. On the Texans’ next offensive drive he was replaced by Mills. Mills finished the game, completing 6 of 14 passes for 49 yards.

After the game, Culley said Taylor hyperextended his wrist, but a team spokesperson said Taylor was healthy enough to return to the game. The Texans did not make an announcement with an injury update during the game, but trainers were seen looking at Taylor’s left wrist.

“He probably could have came back into the game if we needed him to, but I don’t know how effective he would have been in throwing the football,” Culley said.

Before Taylor was replaced by Mills, he completed 5 of 13 passes for 45 yards. The Texans, who were shut out for the second time this season, fell to 2-10.

Taylor played the first 1 1/2 games of the season for the Texans before injuring his left hamstring against the Cleveland Browns. He was replaced by Mills, who went 0-6 in his six starts while Taylor was on injured reserve.

This season, Taylor has completed 60.7% of his passes for 966 yards, with five touchdowns and five interceptions.

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Las Vegas Raiders running back Kenyan Drake’s right ankle injury ‘a little bit of an issue’

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LAS VEGAS — Las Vegas Raiders running back Kenyan Drake was carted off the Allegiant Stadium field with a right ankle injury midway through the second quarter of a 17-15 loss Sunday to the Washington Football Team.

Drake, who joined the Raiders this offseason after signing a two-year contract worth up to $14.5 million with $11 million guaranteed, was tackled awkwardly as he was pulled down by Daniel Wise from behind while being hit from the front by Deshazor Everett and Jamin Davis.

The Raiders were down to two running backs in starter Josh Jacobs and Peyton Barber, as Jalen Richard was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier in the day. Drake was officially ruled out at halftime.

Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia said, after the loss, that Drake’s injury is “a little bit of an issue” and would have an update on Monday. And Jacobs said Drake told him, “It’s broke,” before the trainers arrived on the field.

“I know he’s had significant injuries in the past,” said Jacobs, who was a bit choked up. “So, I’m just praying for him right now and praying for his family. His whole family was here at the game.”

Drake, 27, has rushed for 254 yards and two touchdowns on 63 carries and caught 29 passes for 283 yards and a score as a change-of-pace back, often spelling Jacobs. He also has returned 10 kickoffs for 192 yards.

The Raiders’ rushing attack clearly suffered without Drake. They ran for just 76 yards in the loss, on 16 carries, and even though it was a tight game throughout, Las Vegas relied on its passing attack.

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Follow live: Chiefs in search of 12th straight win over Broncos

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