Reporting Adam Hoge
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (CBS) — The Bears open up the preseason Friday night at Carolina and we have yet to get a good idea from the coaching staff who will play and who will sit.
It would make sense for veterans like Brandon Marshall (hip) and Julius Peppers (hamstring) who are nursing minor injuries to sit completely, but there has been no official word.
The biggest question mark is the status of left tackle Jermon Bushrod (calf), who could use some first team reps in a game with his new team, but has still not participated in a full practice in a week and a half. Head coach Marc Trestman said Monday that Bushrod would have to be 100 percent for him to play, so I wouldn’t count on it.
If Bushrod doesn’t play, it makes you wonder if quarterback Jay Cutler will play more than one series. He talked Tuesday like he will get some playing time and it will be nice for him to get out on the field, take calls from Trestman in his headset, get to the line and get the plays going. Trestman is emphasizing pace in his offense and simulating that against the Panthers in a game is important. But if the cornerstone left tackle isn’t out on the field, Cutler will be operating with a makeshift offensive line and it may be wise to limit the time the first team offense gets out there.
Of course, there are still a number of guys expected to contribute this season that could see significant playing time Friday. Rookie middle linebacker Jon Bostic will get the start and then likely stay in to call the defense with the second-team as well. Wide receiver Joe Andeson could get a chance to play with both the first team and second team depending on if Brandon Marshall sees the field. And second-year safety Brandon Hardin needs to prove that he can play after essentially missing two full years of football.
New defensive coordinator Mel Tucker has thrown a wrinkle in the Bears’ defense.
‘Swat-gate’ is starting to frustrated the Bears offense.
The Bears practice at 9 a.m. at Olivet Nazarene University.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.