It’s been 221 days since the Chicago Bears last took the field against an opponent, but on Friday night that will all change as they get ready to take on the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field for their first preseason game.
While preseason games aren’t all that exciting in terms of getting to watch the stars of a team, the players battling for starting jobs and back-up roles make them fascinating to the hardcore Bears fan. With that in mind, we have five players that fans should keep an eye on when the opening kick-off occurs Friday night.
RB Ka’Deem Carey
Carey has been relegated to fourth-string duty among the Bears’ running backs during training camp, but he should get some extended work in this game. He is still a viable contender for the back-up role despite Shaun Draughn and Michael Ford getting the bulk of the work with the back-ups, and the fourth round draft pick’s tremendous hands and willingness to take hits to make plays should be on full display as he looks to prove that he can be a nice addition to the team’s potent offense.
DE Lamarr Houston
Houston will probably only play for a drive or two, but it will be interesting to see how he reacts to a new system as he makes his Bears debut. Whether he has Jared Allen on the other side of the line or not, Houston has looked great in training camp so far, and his ability to contain the run could be key as the Bears look to stop LeSean McCoy and the Eagles.
LB Shea McClellin
McClellin has been branded a disappointment since his very first games with the Bears, and this first preseason game of 2014 is an opportunity for him to begin to rewrite that script. He still has some flaws in his game and hasn’t looked particularly great in training camp, but games are a different beast, and it will be worth watching to see how well he’s adjusted to the linebacker role.
WR Eric Weems
With Marquess Wilson on the shelf with a fractured clavicle, the Bears’ third wide receiver slot is wide open. Weems has been getting the first crack at the job, and with his quickness and his strength, he is a viable option to be sure. Look for him to get some serious action in this game as he tries to fend off Josh Morgan and Chris Williams.
S Adrian Wilson
Wilson is a guy who doesn’t have anything to prove (at least if you listen to what he has to say), but it will be interesting to see him on the field in real action as he continues his comeback from Achilles surgery. If he’s healthy, he is a strong contender for one of the starting safety positions, and the Bears are going to be keeping a close eye on him in this one as he attempts to win that job.