By Adam Hoge-
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (CBS) — Thursday’s preseason game against the Chargers at Soldier Field should give fans a better idea of what the 2013 Chicago Bears will look like.
It’s still only the second preseason contest, and game-planning will be at a minimum, but the starters are expected to play more, including wide receiver Brandon Marshall and defensive end Julius Peppers, who sat out the first game.
Peppers, who has been nursing a hamstring injury, returned to team drills Tuesday in the final training camp practice in Bourbonnais, but the Bears did not wear pads for the first time since they were allowed to over two weeks ago. Trestman said he expects Peppers to play Thursday as long as he continues to progress.
Marshall has been monitoring his hip throughout training camp after offseason surgery and his absence in the first game was more precautionary. He should get at least a series or two Thursday night.
Wide receiver Joe Anderson, who had an MRI on his shoulder Monday, is also expected to play Thursday. The MRI did not show any significant problems.
Most of the starters are expected to play the entire first quarter, and that includes rookies Kyle Long and Jordan Mills on the right side of the offensive line. Mills was elevated to the first team this week at right tackle after J’Marcus Webb struggled last week. A strong performance Thursday night would greatly help his chances of starting the season as the No. 1 right tackle, but if he struggles, veteran Eben Britton could get a look with the 1s next week.
Goodbye To Bourbonnais
The Bears wrapped up the Bourbonnais portion of training camp Tuesday with a light practice that will resemble Friday practices during the season. Trestman took the pads off for the first time since July 28 and minimized the running in an effort to save legs.
“I think we had an inclination that we might get the pads off, so a couple days before a game, I thought it was good for the guys,” quarterback Jay Cutler said.
Trestman said veteran offensive tackle Jonathan Scott had his sore knee aspirated and the team is hopeful he will be able to contribute next week. Scott was with the doctors Tuesday and did not practice.
Other players who missed practice included: Earl Bennett (concussion), Henry Melton (concussion), Cheta Ozougwu (hamstring), Harvey Unga (rib), Patrick Mannelly (rib) and D.J. Williams (calf).
– The Bears practiced quick field goals with the clock running down Tuesday. Kicker Robbie Gould was perfect on all of his kicks.
– Devin Hester continues to see looks on the field goal blocking unit.
– The Bears shortened practice Tuesday, but spent a good 25 minutes going through walk-throughs at the end of practice, with the defense on one field and the offense on the other.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.