Bears

Bears Camp Shorts: Will impact plays translate into games?

Bears Camp Shorts: Will impact plays translate into games?

BOURBONNAIS — It is still intra-squad stuff and won’t matter or count until Sept. 11 when the Bears open in Houston against the Texans. But the final day of open practice in Bourbonnais (the Bears will practice once more on Wednesday before breaking camp) was marked by impact plays on both sides of the football.

And many of them were coming from players the Bears need to develop into foundation pillars of the franchise.

Like No. 1 draft selections' Leonard Floyd and Kevin White. Floyd appears on the team’s first depth chart as a No. 3 outside linebacker but has been elevated into a rotation with the No. 1 defense. Floyd highlighted Tuesday’s session with a shadowing of running back Jeremy Langford in short-red-zone work, then executing a perfect break on the ball to slap it away.

“I definitely believe I got a lot to improve on,” Floyd said. “I’ll just go out, play as hard as I can, look at film, what I’ve made mistakes on and try to correct them.”

[MORE BEARS: Rookie linebacker Leonard Floyd learning on the fly]

White, in the starting lineup since the outset, may be a de facto rookie by virtue of missing all last season with a stress fracture. But he has flashed continuously, finishing Tuesday by taking a short toss from quarterback Jay Cutler to the left edge, seeing it blocked and then circling all the way around to the right sideline and end zone, with Cutler in front for a faux lead block.

White also sold the entire defense with an end-zone route, with Marc Mariani taking Cutler’s pass all alone in the corner of the end zone. Fans and vendors were closer to Mariani than any of his defenders.

- The defense had its moments, with a strip and recovery of a fumble by Langford, followed later by an interception of quarterback Brian Hoyer by backup defensive back Taveze Calhoun.

The next obvious step is for those plays to happen in a game, in this case a preseason one, against the Denver Broncos Thursday night.

“The same transition from in practice, knowing what to do, how to do it, the key is to operate that under pressure,” Bears head coach John Fox said. “With everybody, there are guys that are gamers, sometimes guys don't show all their stuff in practice. I'm excited every year to watch that first game and watch guys how they perform under pressure."

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

- Bears receivers remain on the injured list in concerning numbers, with Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) again coming out in pads for preliminary work but not practicing. Eddie Royal and Zach Miller, both in the concussion protocol, watched practice, as did No. 2 tight end Greg Scruggs, down with a bruised lung.

- Swing tackle Nick Becton was held out of practice with an elbow injury that is still being evaluated.

- Amini Silatolu was cleared medically and has quietly been working as a No. 2 guard, something the Bears now need badly after the knee injury to Hroniss Grasu forced coaches to move Ted Larsen in at starting center.

Kyle Long placed on Injured reserve

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USA Today

Kyle Long placed on Injured reserve

The Bears have guard Kyle Long on injured reserve due to hip injury. The Bears announced they moved DL Abdullah Anderson from the practice squad to the active roster. They have also signed TE Dax Robinson to the practice squad.

Long is a seven-year vet of the Bears and had played the first three games of the 2019 season. He sat on Week 4’s matchup against the Vikings due to his hip but came back to play against the Raiders in London in Week 5.

This news is tough to take considering the Bears offensive struggles this season and Long’s history with the team.

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Bears open as favorites in Week 7 vs. Saints

Bears open as favorites in Week 7 vs. Saints

The best thing that can happen to a team coming off of a disappointing loss like the Bears suffered in Week 5 to the Oakland Raiders is time away. Time to get back to basics, work on improving some deficiencies and, sometimes, just getting out of the national spotlight.

The Bears (3-2) will welcome the Saints (5-1) to Soldier Field in Week 7 in a game that would seem to favor New Orleans. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has excelled in relief of Drew Brees, who continues to rehab a thumb injury that will keep him out of Sunday's contest in Chicago. The Saints' defense has been fantastic as well and currently ranks 10th overall in yards allowed per game.

Chicago, meanwhile, is hoping for quarterback Mitch Trubisky's return from a left shoulder injury and is likely to be without Kyle Long (hip; injured reserve) and Akiem Hicks (elbow).

Logic would dictate that New Orleans will be a road favorite in this one, but that isn't the case. At least, not yet.

The Bears open the week as a 3.5-point favorite, which even when factoring the three-point edge home teams usually get still means the oddsmakers like Chicago to win the game outright.

Bears fans may still have the sour taste of defeat after the London letdown, but there are a lot of smart people in Las Vegas who obviously think the Bears have a chance (a really, really good chance) to win Sunday's NFC showdown.

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