Many fans will only be able to watch from a distance as the Chicago Bears hit the road for the remainder of their preseason schedule beginning with the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday Night Football. After their solid win in the opener, there was a lot to improve on. They also did a lot of things right. But their next task poses a different type of challenge.
4 Things to Watch for as the Chicago Bears Visit the Seattle Seahawks
1. All Blocked Up
Justin Fields took two sacks in the preseason opener versus the Chiefs. The second one was on him, per offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. Getsy said Fields vacated the pocket too early. But the first sack, which was not Fields’ fault, could have played a role in his truncated mental clock.
Right guard Michael Schofield got beat by Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones. Jones does that to plenty of people. But this week in practice saw 2021 second-round pick Teven Jenkins take snaps with the first unit.
It’s a move Jenkins said he was open to and one some felt was his best chance at NFL success.
Jenkins isn’t likely to start the game on Thursday. But keep an eye on how many reps he gets – and where – since he has gotten up to speed with his conditioning.
2. Wide Receiver Shuffle
The offensive line isn’t the only unit that has done a lot of shuffling throughout training camp. Their wide receivers outside of Darnell Mooney have either been injured or inconsistent as the offense is installed. They lost N’Keal Harry, for whom they traded a future fourth-round pick, to ankle surgery.
Free agent acquisition Byron Pringle has been out with a quad injury. Rookie Velus Jones Jr. and Dante Pettis recently returned to practice. But Tajae Sharpe – who stood out in the opener – missed practice on Monday and Tuesday.
Backup quarterback Trevor Siemian spoke on having so many receivers going down.
“It just puts a huge emphasis on communication during the week, in the huddle. You can’t have any gaps in that communication…when it’s different guys. It’s hard at times. But that’s part of the job.”
3. “The Operation”
Siemian was not the only one to talk about the Bears’ “operation” in the opener. Both Getsy and head coach Matt Eberflus said that was what they were looking for in that game. They said afterward that, while they have a lot to clean up, they were overall satisfied with what transpired.
Thursday could present an entirely different challenge as they head into one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL.
Fields was just a spectator the last time these two teams met. Both look drastically different now with Nick Foles backing up Matt Ryan for the Indianapolis Colts and Russell Wilson with the Denver Broncos.
That communication that Siemian spoke of still has to be as sharp as ever.
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) August 17, 2022
4. Real-Life Bears
The Curious Case of Roquan Smith took another unexpected twist. The NFL sent out a memo alerting teams that someone named “Saint Omni” was calling teams to gauge trade interest in the linebacker. At issue in this situation, and in the negotiations with the Bears, is that Smith does not have an agent.
They also warned of the ramifications of such dealings which are prohibited under the CBA.
Smith had been having a “hold-in” until the Bears removed him from the PUP list exposing him to possible fines. They have not levied any fines to this point. But where does that leave Smith when all is said and done?
He has not come out against these reports. And his last official statement was the Instagram post explaining his trade request.