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Bears’ starters to play a “good amount” of reps in preseason

NFL: JUL 30 Chicago Bears Training Camp Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

At his post-practice press conference on Wednesday, Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus indicated he plans to play his starters during their preseason opener on Saturday, August 13 against the Kansas City Chiefs. He didn’t get into specifics, but he did say he wants “to get them a good amount” of playing time.

The Chiefs have a veteran squad, so it’s likely they won’t play Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Chris Jones, and company a bunch, but K.C. head coach Andy Reid does have a few new contributors he’d probably like to get some work for.

With the Bears breaking in new offensive schemes on both offense and defense, it makes sense to let them work through some growing pains in these practice games. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy is a first-time play caller, and defensive coordinator Alan Williams hasn't called a defense since 2013 while with the Vikings.

After their contest against the Chiefs, Chicago travels northwest to face the Seattle Seahawks on August 18, and then they wrap the preseason up by hosting the Cleveland Browns on August 27.

As for the starters, the Bears could be putting out there, it was rookie Braxton Jones at left tackle for the second consecutive day at practice, with newcomer Riley Reiff working in at right tackle with Larry Borom. Rookie Doug Kramer was with the ones today at center while Sam Mustipher was working at center with the twos. At right guard, it was Michael Schofield with the starters and rookie Ja’Tyre Carter working in on occasion. The only o-line position seemingly locked up is left guard Cody Whitehair.

Equanimeous St. Brown seems to have been establishing himself among Chicago’s receiving corps, and his play was highlighted by quarterback Justin Fields earlier today. “He’s definitely always in the right spot,” Fields said about the former Packer that spent three years working with Getsy. “He’s a weapon in this offense, for sure.”

While there’s no timetable for Eberflus to name a starting unit on either side of the ball, it behooves him to get his first strings settled so they can start to build some continuity.