(670 The Score) In the second quarter of his team's 23-16 win against the Panthers on Sunday, Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller was penalized for an unnecessary roughness call for the second time this season.
The flag was thrown on a second-and-10 play for the Panthers as they were in Bears territory with 4:30 remaining before halftime. Fuller delivered what appeared to be shoulder-to-shoulder hit on Panthers receiver Keith Kirkwood. It was the fourth unnecessary roughness penalty called on Fuller during his six NFL seasons. Kirkwood had to be helped off the field after the play.
Bears coach Matt Nagy felt the flag shouldn't have been thrown.
"There is literally nothing you can do in his position," Nagy said Monday. "He’s just playing football. It’s unfortunate. It’s a bang-bang play. The referees have a tough job there when it is that fast."
The Panthers had the football moved to the Bears' 13-yard line, where Chicago's defense held Carolina to a field goal.
Fuller's other unnecessary roughness call this season came in the Bears' win against the Lions in their season opener on Sept. 13. On Sunday, he was also flagged for pass interference in the third quarter as he broke up a pass to Panthers receiver Robby Anderson. Fuller deflected the pass to safety Eddie Jackson, who intercepted it and returned it for a touchdown that was negated.
The Bears were also hurt when cornerback Jaylon Johnson was called for pass interference in the end zone during a play in the fourth quarter, setting up the Panthers with a first-and-goal play from one yard out. That led to Carolina's lone touchdown of the game.
While Jackson and other Bears players took to Twitter to express frustrations with some of the calls -- Jackson's most critical tweets were later deleted -- Nagy didn't complain. He expressed an understanding of the difficulty of the officials' jobs.
"Just one of those games yesterday where it felt like we had a few things that went against us, not intentionally or anything like that," Nagy said. "It was what it was. That’s another part of the game I’m proud of our guys to be able to work through, that kind of stuff, where we’re fighting through that kind of adversity and still winning."
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.