Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus met the media today after practice, and he announced that quarterback Justin Fields and the starters would “play a selected number of plays” against the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. Just how many was yet to be decided, but earlier today, Bills head coach Sean McDermott announced that he would also be playing his starters in the preseason finale.
Coach Eberflus said that their decision had nothing to do with what the Bills were doing and that he wanted to get Fields and the ones some reps. “Get him (Fields) game experience in there, and really just to get him the game feel. He obviously has game experience, but we just want to be able to do that with the unit.”
With so many injured Bears this week, we’ll have to see how many members of the starting unit can even go.
NBC’s Josh Schrock Tweeted out an injury update, and the following players all missed today’s practice: safeties Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker, defensive linemen DeMarcus Walker and Justin Jones, linebackers DeMarquis Gates and Dylan Cole, cornerback Josh Blackwell, wide receivers Chase Claypool, Dante Pettis, Velus Jones Jr., and Joe Reed, offensive linemen Darnell Wright, Nate Davis, Lucas Patrick, and Teven Jenkins, and running back Trestan Ebner.
Matt Eberflus says he feels confident Eddie Jackson, Jaquan Brisker and Chase Claypool will be ready to play Week 1. "They are in a good spot."— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) August 24, 2023
The good news is that tight end Cole Kmet was back after leaving practice yesterday with an undisclosed injury. Also back today were defensive ends Yannick Ngakoue and Rasheem Green, and TE Marcedes Lewis. Schrock also reported that running backs D’Onta Foreman and Travis Homer were full participants.
Coach ‘Flus also said that the backup quarterback job is wide open between P.J. Walker and rookie Tyson Bagent. He wouldn’t state who would be his number two on Saturday. In last week’s preseason contest, Bagent looked the part, but he’s impressed all offseason.
“That was created. We didn’t create that,” Eberflus said of the QB2 battle. “That was created by pure competition.”
Whether Bagent is named Fields’ backup or not, it sure sounds like the UDFA has a roster spot secured.
We’ll find out when the Bears trim to 53 players by Tuesday, August 29.