LOCALS IN THE NFL
Khyiris Tonga Records Impressive Pick-Six During Bears Practice
Aug 20, 2022, 11:26 PM
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY – Former BYU star Khyiris Tonga made some noise in the Chicago Bears camp on Saturday.
Tonga recorded an interception and then showed off his athleticism running 80 yards for a pick-six touchdown.
🚨 BIG MAN INT 🚨 pic.twitter.com/5moXx4X7ut
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 21, 2022
The second-year nose tackle for the Bears picked off fellow 2021 draft class teammate Justin Fields. Tonga’s interception occurred during the 11-on-11 portion of Saturday’s Bears practice indoors.
The Bears’ social media team tried as hard as they could to avoid putting Fields in the shot, but you could see him for a brief second in an orange No. 1 jersey around the two-second mark of the video.
Khyiris Tonga gets a big man pick-six
Remember, Tonga is a 6-foot-4, 338-pound man who ran 80 yards for the touchdown. Before becoming a defensive lineman, Tonga was a tight end during his prep career at Granger High School. He appears to have maintained those tight end instincts based on the pick six from Saturday.
While Tonga was running the 80 yards, his Bear teammates on defenses sprayed him with water bottles to celebrate the play.
“That happens sometimes,” said Bears head coach Matt Eberflus when asked about Tonga’s pick-six. “I thought our guys did a good job blocking. So, on those interceptions, we turn them into returns, like a punt return. Everybody has a job to do. When you want to score on defense, you have to have it orchestrated. The guys did an outstanding job of orchestrating that return, and it was an instantaneous reaction. So there was no hesitation, everybody went to their job, we all stayed on our blocks, and he returned it all the way.”
The Bears are 2-0 in the preseason thus far and they will be back in action on Saturday, August 27 against the Cleveland Browns. Tonga has played 46 snaps through the first two preseason games at nose tackle.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.
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