Expect Bears to start Matt Slauson at center vs. Chiefs


Expect Bears to start Matt Slauson at center vs. Chiefs

Coach John Fox likely will not formally reveal until just before game time whether left guard Matt Slauson will remain at guard in Kansas City against the Chiefs or rookie Hroniss Grasu will get a sudden start after being on the inactive list the first four games of his rookie season.

But based strictly on Fox’s assessment of Grasu’s readiness to start an NFL game, which was not exactly damning with faint praise, but close to it, Slauson will anchor the Bears’ offensive line next Sunday.

“Hmm,” Fox said, pausing. “I think [Grasu] is a very talented player. He’s a guy that’s familiar with our offense. I think everybody in our locker room, or in our football building, has confidence in him. At some point, we will get to find out.”

Which does not sound like next Sunday in Kansas City is “some point” just yet. The Chiefs’ 3-4 scheme has two-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Dontari Poe’s 346 pounds frequently over opposing centers. Kansas City opened Sunday against Cincinnati with one other defensive lineman besides Poe plus their four linebackers.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Slauson, who has consistently graded out as the No. 1 or 2 Bears offensive lineman in his two-plus Chicago seasons, just wants early clarity, which he presumably received on Monday.

“It's only important to me if I'm going to play center because obviously I want to be working in that spot all week,” said Slauson, who slid over to center four plays into the Bears’ 22-20 win Sunday over the Oakland Raiders after Will Montgomery suffered a broken left leg. “As far as guard reps, I think I have a pretty good grasp of how to play that spot. But if I'm going to be the center this week I'd like to know that soon.”

The situation bears some semblance of what the Bears went through at right guard/tackle, with Kyle Long able to play either and the decision coming down to whether Vladimir Ducasse was a better guard than Jordan Mills was a tackle. In this case, Patrick Omameh played well stepping in at left guard and rates an edge over Grasu at this point in their careers.

[MORE: Explaining Cutler's Week 4 grade against Raiders]

Fox was effusive in his praise of Slauson, who managed the line calls as well as blocking Oakland nose tackle Dan Williams and holding the 330-pounder to one tackle.

“I thought it was tremendous,” Fox said. “That early in the game, it’s a two-man switch. Typically in this league, you go in with seven linemen, and even Pat moving over to left guard and Matt going to center, it wasn’t all hunky-dory. But I thought they didn’t panic and just kept swinging the sword and did pretty good.”

Mitch Trubisky will reportedly start for the Bears' Week 7 matchup with the New Orleans Saints

Mitch Trubisky will reportedly start for the Bears' Week 7 matchup with the New Orleans Saints

We'd been circling this news all week, and now it's getting closer to reality: late Saturday night, Adam Schefter reported that QB Mitch Trubisky will be under center for the Bears' matchup with the Saints this Sunday:

Trubisky was a full participant in practice from Wednesday to Friday of last week, but had still been listed as questionable up to this point. He returns after dislocating his left shoulder in Week 4 against the Vikings and missing the team's Week 5 loss to the Raiders.

The news comes at a crucial juncture of the season for the Bears, who are currently 3-2 and in third place in the NFC North.

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Puppy Pick 'Em Puppy Walter makes his Week 7 picks for Bears-Saints

Puppy Pick 'Em Puppy Walter makes his Week 7 picks for Bears-Saints

When the Bears announced their 2019 schedule, we decided to have some puppies reveal the opponents. Now, we have taken it a step further. We have a puppy that will make weekly picks for the Bears games.

It is Week 7!

Walter's choices in Week 7 are a chance to go to Mardi Gras or a celebration of St. Patrick's day in Chicago. Bears fans should be excited about his decision in Week 7... and now we're all looking forward to St. Patrick's Day again!

The 12-week old dachshund was hand-selected by the scouts at NBC Sports Chicago and hails from One Tail at a Time rescue. He came from a shelter in Alabama and was transported to Chicago.  At just 7 weeks old and without his mom, he beat a deadly virus and spent some time in the doggie ER, where he healed and became strong again. 

Now, Walter is ready to rumble between the well-manicured lines of Sweetness Field. He is NOW adoptable via and has two adorable sisters named Martha and Millie, who are already adopted. 

Walter will pick the games throughout the NFL season, including the playoffs and we hope that his nose follows the scent to the Bears every week, all the way to that magical game in Miami in February. Narrated by Jason Benetti, play-by-play announcer for the White Sox.  

It is time for Puppy Pick ‘Em presented by Nissan.

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