Chris Conte was on the inactive list after just his first week of practice since offseason shoulder surgery. Whether he gained or lost ground in the competition at safety – he is expected to play next Friday in Seattle – was still a bit of a question.
As they did last week against Philadelphia, Ryan Mundy started at strong safety and Danny McCray at free. McCray was beaten for a 20-yard completion when he appeared to be late providing coverage over the top on a pass from Chad Henne to wide receiver Mike Brown. Mundy was flagged for holding on the first Jacksonville possession, leading to a field goal.
Jacksonville put up 134 total yards and 13 points in the first quarter, with Chad Henne completing 11 of 15 passes for 116 yards and a rating of 117.6. But even with the yardage, the defense as a whole held the Jaguars to one short-field touchdown and four field goals.
“We’ve had the same pairing for two weeks now,” said McCray, who tied for second on the Bears with four solo tackles, according to postgame stats. “I think as a group we played pretty well. I don’t think we had too many missed tackles. But from what I gathered, it felt pretty solid.”
Brock Vereen and Adrian Wilson were again the second pairing, behind the second-string line that included rookie tackles Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton. Wilson looked to be moving well but Vereen was late providing deep help on a 18-yard Blake Bortles completion.
Vereen recovered well in the third quarter with a sideline tackle, pass defense across the middle and a tackle for loss.
If playing time is any indication, Vereen and Wilson appeared to enhance their situations, playing most of the second quarter and deep into the third quarter. Coaches clearly want to form a thorough opinion on what Wilson, a five-time Pro Bowler but now 34, has left.
“[Coaches] are just trying to work out a rotation and make sure everybody gets good reps,” Wilson said.