1 player from each Bears position group to watch vs. Seahawks

·6 min read

The Chicago Bears will face off against the Seattle Seahawks in their second preseason game on Thursday night.

Head coach Matt Eberflus said that starters will be limited to around 6-10 reps — or a couple of series — with such a short turnaround. Still, there are plenty of players to keep an eye on — from rookies looking to make an impact to veterans fighting for a roster spot.

Ahead of Chicago’s second preseason game, here’s a look at one player to watch from each Bears position group.

Quarterback: Justin Fields

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All eyes will be on Justin Fields is what’s expected to limited action on Thursday. Fields had some nice moments in the preseason opener, including some downfield completions to receivers Darnell Mooney and Tajae Sharpe. He also showed improved pocket presence, as well as his mobility on a 10-yard scramble. Although, Fields still has plenty to improve on, including getting rid of the ball quicker. While Fields is expected to play only a series or two, every rep is valuable.

Running back: Trestan Ebner

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Trestan Ebner has been one of the standouts of the summer, where he’s showcased his playmaking ability on offense and special teams. While David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert will be focal points on offense, Ebner is someone who continues to push for more playing time at running back. In last week’s preseason opener, Ebner showed he’s dangerous with the ball in his hands, where he combined for 96 scrimmage yards. That included a 12-yard touchdown from Trevor Siemian. Ebner has an opportunity to further elevate his stock as he’s sure to get plenty of reps against the Seahawks.

Wide receiver: Velus Jones Jr.

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After missing the preseason opener with an undisclosed injury, Velus Jones Jr. is expected to make his rookie debut against Seattle. Jones has made a strong impression since joining Chicago, where he’s flashed his speed and playmaking ability on offense. Jones has made some impressive plays in training camp, and we’ll finally get a chance to see what he can do in live action. Considering Jones didn’t play in the opener, he should see more than the anticipated 6-10 reps for starters.

Tight end: Cole Kmet

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Cole Kmet is someone who figures to benefit from the new offense this season, where the hope is he finally has that breakout season in Year 3. With questions about Chicago’s supporting cast, Kmet is expected to be a top weapon for Fields this season. Kmet missed the preseason opener with an undisclosed injury. Assuming he sees some playing time Thursday, he’ll likely be limited to the 6-10 snaps that starters are playing.

Offensive line: Teven Jenkins

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It’s hard to believe just a couple of weeks ago Teven Jenkins’ future in Chicago was in question. Jenkins had missed seven consecutive practices and there were reports about him being on the trade block. But now, the arrow is pointed up for Jenkins, who finds himself competing for a starting job. Jenkins, who made his preseason debut last week, has since been kicked inside to right guard, where he most recently saw first-team reps. Jenkins could suit up with the first-team offensive line Thursday in Seattle, and he’s expected to see more than a couple of series as he gets more experience at the position.

Edge rusher: Dominique Robinson

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Another rookie who has the potential to make an impact is Dominique Robinson, who’s seen his share of opportunities this offseason with Robert Quinn and Al-Quadin Muhammad missing the offseason program. Robinson has a ton of raw talent, and he’s someone who could develop into a playmaker down the line, much like former fifth-rounder Trevis Gipson. Robinson had a solid preseason debut against the Chiefs, where he showcased his athleticism and speed when he blew by a blocker untouched for a sack. He’s sure to have plenty of opportunities in Thursday’s game against the Seahawks.

Defensive line: Trevon Coley

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Trevon Coley, who joined the Bears last week, was one of the defensive standouts from the preseason opener. He showed his ability to get pressure on the quarterback, which made for an impressive outing. Coley had two sacks, two tackles-for-loss, three QB hits and one pass breakup. Cole should see plenty of action Thursday against the Seahawks. There’s some competition at defensive tackle behind Justin Jones, and strong performances could help Coley make a push for a roster spot.

Linebacker: Jack Sanborn

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Undrafted rookie Jack Sanborn elevated his stock with an impressive preseason debut against the Chiefs. Sanborn showed his potential as an instinctive linebacker and special teams contributor in the victory. He totaled 5 tackles, 1 tackle-for-loss, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery and 1 pass breakup and added 2 tackles on special teams. Not only should Sanborn make the 53-man roster, but he should be competing for playing time. He’ll get a chance to build on his impressive debut Thursday against the Seahawks.

Cornerback: Kyler Gordon

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Top draft pick Kyler Gordon has been impressing since he arrived in Chicago. But he missed last week’s opener with an injury. But Gordon returned to practice this week and he’s excited to make his rookie debut Thursday against the Seahawks. Gordon has seen time both outside and at nickel cornerback during the summer, and it’ll be interesting to see how he’s utilized against the Seahawks. Gordon likely won’t see significant snaps, but he’ll have a chance to make a strong impression, not unlike fellow rookie Jaquan Brisker did against the Chiefs.

Safety: Elijah Hicks

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With Jaquan Brisker day-to-day with an undisclosed injury, it’s fellow rookie Elijah Hicks who we’ll be keeping an eye on against the Seahawks. With the starters not expected to play much, Hicks should get plenty of reps against Seattle. In the preseason opener against Kansas City, Hicks had three tackles between defense and special teams. But Hicks did get beat by Shane Buechele to Justin Watson on a 22-yard touchdown. We’ll see how the seventh-round rookie responds against Seattle.

Special teams: Trenton Gill

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Trenton Gill had an impressive rookie debut in last week’s preseason opener, where it certainly looks like it’ll be an easy transition between punters for Chicago. Gill averaged 42.6 yards on seven punts, including an impressive coffin corner punt that pinned the Chiefs at their own 3-yard line, against the Chiefs. He pinned the ball inside Kansas City’s 20-yard line three times, including inside the 5-yard line twice. Gill will look to build on that performance in Thursday’s game against the Seahawks.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire