LOS ANGELES — Bears coach Lovie Smith, whose team was swept by the Minnesota Vikings in the playoffs in 2017, called Laurie Locks down the line and said he was sorry for the emotional toll he took on his players.
Smith’s players were upset and frustrated with Locks decision to lock down his locker room during the playoffs and the game’s final minutes.
The Bears are expected to release a statement on Wednesday.
Locks, a former coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, was the head coach of Chicago’s defense in 2016.
The Chicago Bears are scheduled to open their season at Arizona on Thursday against the Cardinals.
Locks, who has one year left on his contract, has faced criticism in recent years for his handling of players during games.
He is accused of making players sit out games to let them heal, not caring if the players played through injuries or suffered any other injuries.
The controversy erupted after former offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, who is recovering from a broken foot, went down with a knee injury against the Vikings.
Lacks said he believes the Vikings were the ones to have a “coup.”
The Bears were upset about the decision and announced Wednesday that the team would no longer have Locks locker room access during the game.
“I feel terrible for the pain my players have caused me and I am deeply sorry for this,” Smith said in a statement.
“I am saddened that I could not be there for them as they recovered from the injuries they sustained.
I am truly sorry for what they have endured and the pain they are in.”
Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan said Locks apology was disappointing.
“You can’t put a price tag on a game like that,” Trevath said.
“To me, it’s more than a locker room.”
Locks’ contract with the Bears expires after the season.
He was also the head football coach at Northwestern University and spent two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Iowa State.