The matchup between the 1-7 Carolina Panthers and 2-7 Chicago Bears is hardly your typical prime-time showdown. And while the two teams might not register much excitement with their on-field product, there is an intriguing subplot that will be playing out at Soldier Field.
The Bears and Panthers engineered a trade last March for Carolina to move up to the No. 1 slot in the 2023 NFL draft and select quarterback Bryce Young. To secure that selection, the Panthers had to give up two first-round selections — including one in 2024 that currently stands at No. 2 overall and could get pushed up further with another Carolina loss — as well as wide receiver DJ Moore. The sixth-year veteran ranks sixth in the NFL with 735 receiving yards, even while Chicago’s passing attack has encountered its share of troubles under injured starter Justin Fields (who is doubtful with a dislocated thumb) and undrafted rookie backup Tyson Bagent.
Check back throughout the night for all the latest on Panthers vs. Bears:
Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET on Nov. 9.
NFL STATS CENTRAL: The latest NFL scores, schedules, odds, stats and more.
This comes as no surprise, but Bears quarterback Justin Fields is inactive for Thursday night’s game. He had been listed as “doubtful” heading into the showdown with the Panthers. While Fields continues to recover from a thumb injury on his throwing hand, rookie Tyson Bagent will be making his fourth career start.
After suffering a concussion in Sunday’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts, two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Burns will not play against the Bears. Receiver DJ Chark, who has three touchdown receptions this season, is also out for the Panthers.
Panthers’ inactive players:
- LB Brian Burns
- WR Laviska Shenault Jr.
- WR DJ Chark
- CB CJ Henderson
- OG Nash Jensen
- TE Stephen Sullivan
Bears’ inactive players:
- QB Justin Fields
- DB Terell Smith
- LB Tremaine Edmunds
- DL Dominique Robinson
- WR Velus Jones Jr.
- FB Khari Blasingame
- OL Nate Davis
Lorenzo Reyes: Bears 21, Panthers 14
This result all depends on Justin Fields returning to action. If he’s unable to go, I’ll probably have the Panthers covering, though not winning straight up. Either way, I think it makes the most sense to wait until closer to kickoff.
Safid Deen: Bears 24, Panthers 17
The Bears have a lot more to address than rookie Tyson Bagent starting in place of Justin Fields, who could use another week to recover from his dislocated thumb on his throwing hand. But home field on a short week should be enough to help Chicago beat Carolina, whose rebuild isn’t going so well for No. 1 pick Bryce Young or coach Frank Reich in their first season together.
Jordan Mendoza: Bears 22, Panthers 17
This game will be ugly, and it’s a great candidate to hit the under. Chicago has proven when it doesn’t make mistakes, it has a pretty functional offense. Against a Carolina team that ranks last in points given up per game, expect the Bears to have one of their better games in a home victory.
Do you like football? Then you’ll enjoy getting our NFL newsletter delivered to your inbox
Get the latest news, expert analysis, game insights and the must-see moments from the NFL conveniently delivered to your email inbox. Sign up now!
We occasionally recommend interesting products and services. If you make a purchase by clicking one of the links, we may earn an affiliate fee. USA TODAY operates independently, and this doesn’t influence our coverage.
Gannett may earn revenue from sports betting operators for audience referrals to betting services. Sports betting operators have no influence over nor are any such revenues in any way dependent on or linked to the newsrooms or news coverage. Terms apply, see operator site for Terms and Conditions. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help is available. Call the National Council on Problem Gambling 24/7 at 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ, OH), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN). Must be 21 or older to gamble. Sports betting and gambling are not legal in all locations. Be sure to comply with laws applicable where you reside.