In a move that came as a complete surprise on Sunday afternoon, the Chicago Bears deactivated star back-up Rockan Smith less than an hour before Sunday's 16-6 win over the Minnesota Vikings for "personal reasons". The following raised her eyebrows even further: Smith looked from the sideline in a sweatshirt and then left without speaking to reporters, leaving head coach Matt Nagy to refuse further comment on whether Smith could be affected in future matches.
It was a strange development, left to hang over a divided victory for the Bears. As they went 3-1 and kept up with the Green Bay Packers for first place in the NFC North, they also lost starting quarterback Mitchell Trubiski to a shoulder injury that ultimately put his left (not throwing) hand in the sling. Even this injury seemed to take the place of the secret of Smith's deactivation. Especially in a game where the Bears face the Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, who is one of the most dynamic players on the offensive this season.
It is rare to see a team sitting at first glance a solid star inside the backfield of Smith's caliber, let alone against one of the best titles in the league. It's even rarer to see a team do it without explanation from a coach, player, or one of the player's teammates – many of whom also expressed surprise at the deactivation. The strangeness was so overbearing and mysterious that it sparked a series of wild and unjustified speculations on social media as fans and reporters sought answers for the move.
[ГледайтенаживоNFLигринаприложениетоYahooSports download it here .]
Asked about the rationale for deactivating Smith on Sunday, Nagy suggested simply, "I'll leave it, since it's a completely personal question – and I'm just
Squeezed as to whether Smith's absence could go beyond Sunday's game, Nagy again refused to answer, saying it was a "personal question" for the linebacker.
The next Bears game is on October 6 in London against the Oakland Raiders.
The last-minute scratch was announced in the press box as a downgrade for "personal reasons" about an hour before it started. Smith was then announced on the inactive list before the game began, eventually watching the game from the Bears' sideline. Considered one of the NFL's most promising domestic players and a founding cornerstone of the Bears at just 22 years old, Georgia's first 2018 round came in 24 games Sunday in its first three games.
More from Yahoo Sports: