This 21-10 Bears loss in Cincinnati wasn't quite the humiliating defeat they suffered in last year's dress rehearsal in Seattle. There are clearly issues, from health, to performance. There's also playing with the hand you're dealt, and between the injuries at wide receiver and some vanilla play-calling, perspective's needed in the offensive evaluation. Perhaps more discouraging was the (presumably) starting defenders being unable to get off the field.
Injuries to nose tackles Jeremiah Ratliff (ankle) and Eddie Goldman (concussion) becomes the latest health storyline to follow, particularly for Goldman, since he'll be eligible to play in two weeks. Coming out of that, however, was Will Sutton continuing to make noticeable plays, even after sliding into that nose spot despite not having the prototypical body for it.
Senorise Perry also continued to impress on kick returns, appearing to seal a roster spot, if there was a question. But he'd limp off the field in the second half with no immediate word on his injury.
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Rashad Lawrence and Joshua Bellamy may end up both making the final 53, if only for insurance for the recuperating trio of Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Royal, and Marquess Wilson. If the staff decides to roll the dice at that position, they may be pitted against each other, and neither particularly distinguished himself Saturday night. No one gained on them either.
Like that position, it will be interesting to see if the either wave of roster cuts over the next week provides an alternative at right tackle, because Jordan Mills and Charles Leno, Jr. continued making mistakes.
It was not the best of nights for Dante Rosario, either, but perhaps his history with John Fox, his special teams experience, and the fact another tight end hasn't stepped up behind Martellus Bennett helps his cause. The backup running back competition remained status quo.
Terrance Mitchell wasn't mistake-free, but still made a couple of nice stops and recovered a fumble, so he just might be penciled-in already, especially after Tracy Porter reinjured a hamstring and simply cannot stay on the field.
Shea McClellin was a step behind his man in coverage, getting beaten consistently over the middle, while Lamarr Houston and Willie Young made a couple of nice plays as their recoveries continue, albeith versus second- and third-stringers. Sam Acho did not play due to illness, but it was another awfully quiet night for Jonathan Bostic. Brock Vereen had a bad moment on a short touchdown run in the first half, but filled a gap nicely to make a play after intermission. Adrian Amos was most noticeable when he accidentally hit Goldman's helmet, causing his fellow rookie's exit.
Rosters need to be reduced to 75 by Tuesday.