By Adam Hoge-
HALAS HALL (CBS) As expected, most of the Bears’ key players will not play at all Thursday night against the Browns in the preseason finale.
“I wouldn’t say all, but it’ll be close to all of the starters,” head coach Marc Trestman said when asked how many starters will sit. “There’s always going to be things that happen later in the week because of injuries and things like that that we may have to play some guys but our hope is most if not all will be held out of the game.”
Surprisingly, that may include rookies Kyle Long and Jordan Mills, which pretty much confirms that they will be your starting right guard and tackle, respectively.
“I haven’t made a decision on the two of them, whether we want to get them more work or not,” Trestman said. “I am not going to hide from the fact that they did very well last week and have continued to improve. I’m just not ready to go the distance on exactly what we are going to do as we move forward here. I can stand up here confidently and say they played well.”
Meanwhile, Browns head coach Rod Chudzinski might play some of his starters, but Trestman views that as a positive for his guys who will play.
“It gives them an opportunity to play against some of the better players and see how they match up competition-wise and it creates more value for them competitively speaking and throughout the league so I don’t think it’s a bad thing,” the Bears head coach said.
Progress From Melton And Bennett
Trestman said Henry Melton was running Monday at Halas Hall and designated Earl Bennett as “day-to-day”. Both have missed most of the month with concussions, but appear closer to returning.
Meanwhile, offensive tackle Jonathan Scott is still not practicing, which continues to put his spot on the team in doubt. He missed almost all of training camp with a sore knee.
Linebacker D.J. Williams (calf) is also running more and is now considered day-to-day.
Armando Allen (hamstring) is back practicing in full and figures to play a lot Thursday.
– Trestman said tight end Fendi Onobun has been “uncharacteristically inconsistent” in the preseason games so far, despite having a strong camp. He has dropped three balls and has yet to catch a pass.
– The Bears practiced inside Monday because of the hot weather and their long travel back from Oakland. They will go back outside Tuesday.
– They will also practice Wednesday, which is out of the norm the day before a game. Trestman said they’ll split the guys up for some of the practice as those who will be playing will go through normal walk-thru procedures the day before a game.
– Bears longsnapper Patrick Mannelly returned to practice but was limited.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.