LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — Papa Bear Halas and Walter “Sweetness” Payton are now standing guard in statuary form at Soldier Field – and appropriately on Tuesday, the Bears practiced inside the Payton Center at Halas Hall.
As CBS 2’s Megan Mawicke reported, practicing indoors didn’t it a damper on the Bears’ excitement for their highly-anticipated season opener with the arch rival Green Bay Packers this coming Thursday.
For the starters, it feels like an eternity since they last played in a real game.
“It’s been a long time since I caught like a live football,” said wide receiver Taylor Gabriel. “So excited to get to Thursday.”
“I’m ready to play out – you know, I feel like it’s been a while since we played in game. It’s been a while since I’ve had contact – taken to the ground contact,” said Bears running back Tarik Cohen. “So I’m anxious to get that out of the way.”
Prime time, the Bears-Packers game is the only game on tap – and it kicks off the Bears’ centennial season.
Is there any harm if they get caught up in the hype?
“There’s no harm in that, as long as you understand – as long as it doesn’t affect your game,” said Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy. “You want to realize the goal for when you’re playing is you want to play a lot of night games – you don’t want to be playing at 12 o’clock. That means that people want to see you playing.”
Nagy was adamant that there would be no rust, since the starters haven’t really played since January. Also, tight end Trey Burton was limited in practice for a second straight day Tuesday, and Nagy said it will most likely come down to a game time decision.