Hub Arkush at the Chicago Sun-Times addresses the differences between the current Bears offense and those in recent years:
“Which brings us to another point about where the offense is at and where it’s going. It’s hard to get five receivers out if you only have three.
“Marquess Wilson was inactive against the Bengals, and Joe Anderson dressed but didn’t take a snap on offense. That speaks volumes about where [head coach Marc] Trestman believes his receiving corps is at.
“It’s not to say the kids can’t play, but apparently they’re not ready. It appears that Kyle Long and Jordan Mills are ready. But they’re not playing because they were so ready Trestman couldn’t keep them off the field; they’re playing because they have to.
“Anyone who suggests this offense isn’t dramatically different from what Bears fans are used to isn’t paying attention to personnel groupings, play-calling and execution.
Arkush’s second point is better than his first and they’re probably related.
Though he might not be wrong, I would suggest that the absence of Wilson and Anderson might have more to do with wanting to keep tight ends and running backs on the field than the fact that Wilson and/or Anderson would only be capable of limited contribution. I think instead that, consistent with comments in the rest of the article, the Bears are more concerned with protecting quarterback Jay Cutler at this point. Specifically, they might be looking to provide as much help as they can afford to Mills and Long. It certainly looked that way to me.
I’d also point out that, in my opinion, the Bears have the best running back in the league outside of Minnesota in Matt Forte. I don’t think anyone wants to take him off the field too often.