Several Chicago Bears players will be stepping foot on an NFL field to play in a game for the first time this weekend.
There are, perhaps, none more significant than rookie right tackle Darnell Wright. The No. 10 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Wright is expected to be a finishing touch on a revamped, beleaguered offensive line.
But the Bears also signed veteran and former Titan Nate Davis to be their starting right guard this offseason. Davis, however, has been sidelined in training camp recently. Second-year guard Ja’Tyre Carter has been in his place. That is a lot of inexperience on one side of the line but offensive coordinator Luke Getsy is not worried.
OC Luke Getsy, Bears Opting for Continuity on Offensive Line
Bears ‘Hopeful’ Nate Davis Will Return Soon
“We’re hopeful to get Nate back soon, once he gets through his stuff,” Getsy said. “So I think it’s really important that we try to get guys where we believe they’re going to play. So I think that was more important than taking that route.”
The Bears can keep their three other starting offensive linemen – two of whom are changing positions – in their proper places this way. Even if means Wright is out there on an island next to Carter who has 31 snaps across three games.
They will only have to reintegrate one player when Davis returns instead of two or more.
Head coach Matt Eberflus cited a lack of continuity as a result of the injuries as his concern as missed practices have mounted for some key players.
The first (and last) week of the preseason is typically a showcase for the players further down the depth chart. Starters typically play one, maybe two series. Then, they cede work to their backups as teams focus on health. Again, this could be the Bears’ approach with the injuries in general. Eberflus rarely reveals anything specific unless the injury is series which could be a positive.
And Wright has attacked everything being thrown at him during training camp.
“I think the best thing about Darnell is…he is all in and taking in the coaching and then applying it right away,” Getsy said. “I think we’re off to a great start with him…and the way he’s he’s trending, it’s going to continue to get better.
Short stint or not, Saturday will present that next challenge for the talented tackle.
Bears Still Finding Their Identity
Getsy’s comments harken back to Eberflus’ comments following Wednesday’s practice. Asked about following suit with Tennessee’s plan to have assistant head coach Terrell Williams act as head coach for the night, Eberflus was honest.
“Where we are at…right now, I just feel that we need to have everybody in their responsibilities so we can polish up our stuff as we get going,” Eberflus said. “This is our first preseason game, and then we need to polish it up as we go.”
The Bears need to protect well and for Davis to return soon for this strategy to pay off. But it is a strategy that follows this regime (front office included) tendency to practice patience.