After Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy held a 60-play controlled scrimmage on Wednesday night at Halas Hall, allowing him to simulate several in-game possibilities, I doubt we’ll see many of the starters tonight. The New York Giants are expected to play several of their starters for a little while, so it’ll be interesting to watch how Chicago's reserves play.
Even though most of the team seems set, the Bears’ 53-man roster does have a little wiggle room right now. Here are a few of the players/position groups I’ll be keying in on in tonight’s practice game.
The Tight Ends
I doubt we’ll see roster locks Trey Burton or Adam Shaheen, but the other tight ends on the roster will get plenty of chances to shine. I’d like to see Bradley Sowell do more than just block, and I’d like to see Ian Bunting do a little blocking. Sowell is the odds of favorite to be the “blocking” TE, but I want to see his new svelte 277 pound frame get a pass thrown his way. Bunting had an up and down game a week ago, but he may have moved to the head of the UDFA class of tight ends. Ellis Richardson, Dax Raymond, and Jesper Horsted will try to impress too.
John Franklin III and Kevin Toliver II
These back up corners have both played well this offseason, and both will look to continue making a case for inclusion on the 53-man roster. Toliver was the first outside corner off the bench a year ago, while Franklin was a practice squadder.
Back up outside linebacker
Someone wake me up if Kylie Fitts, Mathieu Betts, Isaiah Irving, or Chuck Harris make a play. Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd are backed up by Aaron Lynch, but after these three it’s been crickets. They were quiet all camp and quiet against the Panthers last week. With Lynch nursing a sore shoulder it makes finding another quality edge rusher that more important.
How about you guys? Where will your focus be in tonight’s game?