By Adam Hoge-

SOLDIER FIELD (CBS) As lightning and thunder took over the sky above a soggy Soldier Field Thursday night, the Bears opted to keep their stars off the field as the Broncos delivered a 31-3 blowout.

Jay Cutler, Julius Peppers, and Matt Forte all sat out the preseason opener against the Denver Broncos. Brian Urlacher, as expected, wasn’t even at Soldier Field as he continues to be excused for “personal reasons”.

Cutler, who’s first son was born Wednesday morning, participated in warmups, but head coach Lovie Smith indicated they weren’t planning on having him play and a final decision was made before kickoff. Jason Campbell got the start at quarterback and said they talked earlier in the week about Cutler not playing because they “weren’t sure which day Jay’s baby would come out.”

For the Broncos, Peyton Manning played the first series for the Broncos and led his team down the field before being picked off by Major Wright at the goal line. Wright later left the game with a hamstring injury that is not considered to be serious.

The game started about nine minutes late because of storms around Soldier Field.

Lightning started to flash about 30 minutes before game time and both teams quickly went back to the locker room. Fans were forced to go to the concourse about 20 minutes before kickoff.

A 1996 preseason game between the Bears and Kansas City Chiefs at Soldier Field was cut short because of lightning.

For more Bears coverage, follow @AdamHogeCBS on Twitter for up to the second updates.

Watch & Listen LIVE