By Adam Hoge-
HALAS HALL (CBS) Despite missing all four preseason games with a calf injury, all signs point to linebacker D.J. Williams playing Sunday in the regular season opener against the Bengals.
The question is, how much will he play?
“He looks like he’s in decent condition,” head coach Marc Trestman said Wednesday. “I don’t know that he’s in game condition to play 60 or 70 plays, or 50 or 60 plays. We’re going to just let the week take its course.”
Considering the time missed while Williams was trying to pick up a new defense, there was a general assumption that rookie Jon Bostic would start the opener after looking good in the preseason. The Bears coaching staff, however, is not saying who the starter will be and it appears there’s a good chance both Bostic and Williams will see playing time Sunday.
“They’re both going to be ready to play middle linebacker,” Trestman said. “There wouldn’t be any reason why we wouldn’t want to move them around in terms of in and out of the game. That would depend on D.J.’s conditioning and if we decide to start him and if we need to use Jonathan on special teams, we’ll have to mix DJ.. in. We’re just going to leave the options wide open but it looks like at this point both will be able to play, and that’s a good thing.”
Williams was a full participant in practice Wednesday, meaning he will be getting all the normal game week work as every one else. And missing the preseason is nothing new for him, after he missed it the last two seasons as well.
“I don’t want to say I’m used to it but I’ve been through this before,” he said. “And, you know, being a veteran guy you kind of know what you need to do to get yourself prepared for the game.”
To make up for the missed time, Williams is doubling his film work and mental reps this week with the full intention of playing. As for the calf, the linebacker says it’s behind him.
“I’ve tested it out, threw it in the dirt and ran and pushed off of it,” he said. “Now it’s in the back of my head. Now I’m just playing.”