Found August 09, 2013 on
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The Chicago Bears will get the preseason started against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on Friday night at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Quarterback Jay Cutler and Co. will play limited snaps while rookies and unproven players will get to prove their worth with extensive playing time.
The Bears have a couple players banged up at the moment, but nothing hurt worse than the loss of nickelback Kelvin Hayden. Hayden, 30, was lost for the season with a torn left hamstring that he suffered last weekend at "Family Fest" at Soldier Field.
Defensive end Julius Peppers, wide receiver Earl Bennett linebacker D.J. Williams, tackle Jermon Bushrod and Jonathan Scott will all be sitting out of this one.
Here are five players you should play close attention to in this one:
Second-year CB Isaiah Frey, rookie LB Jon Bostic, rookie WR Marquess Wilson, second-year DE Shea McClellin and fourth-year TE Fendi Onobun.
NFL fans have to realize that teams are just trying to get through the first two preseason games. Coaches don't want to overwork their core players and risk injuries.
They want to see the younger and unproven players gain value experience. Its nice that football is back, but tonight will only be a small preview of what's to come for the 2013 Bears.
What To Watch For
The Wide Receivers
The Bears have some dynamic wide receivers that are vying for playing time. Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett are locked in as the top three receivers. Second-year man Joe Anderson, rookie Marquess Wilson, seven year veteran Eric Weems and six-year veteran Devin Aromashodu are all battling for the fourth receiver spot. Brittan Golden, Terrance Toliver, Jerrell Jackson, Marcus Rucker and Josh Lenz round out the receiving core. Anderson has a big chance of earning the fourth roster spot. Other youngsters like Golden and Toliver will have to upend Weems and Aromashodu to earn a roster spot. The Bears have a lot of young talent at receiver. They would love for some of the young guys to out work the veterans to free up some cap space.
The Offensive Line
Obviously this is a position that worries many analysts and fans year in and year out for the Bears. But with the additions of Jermon Bushrod, Matt Slauson and Kyle Long, the Bears have added plenty of talent upfront. However Bushrod won't be active Friday night as well as swing tackle Jonathan Scott. How much does 13-year veteran center Roberto Garza have left in the tank? How effective will J'Marcus Webb be at right tackle? Will Kyle Long beat out second-year man James Brown for the right guard spot? Will draft bust Eben Britton be able to earn a roster spot? All of those questions are going to be answered by the end of the preseason. Unfortunately once again too many questions loom around this unit.
The Defensive Ends
Julius Peppers won't be active. Corey Wootton will be limited with calf and hip injuries. So, second-year man Shea McClellin will draw the start and see plenty of action. He has plenty to prove after being selected in the first-round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Rookie Cornelius Washington, second-year man Aston Whiteside, five-year veteran Kyle Moore and second-year man Cheta Ozougwu will all be looked upon to provide pressure. The defensive end rotation has always been important for the Bears and with Turk McBride out for the season a spot has opened up for one of these unproven players.
Second-year cornerback Isaiah Frey and six-year veteran Zack Bowman are battling it out for the starting nickelback gig now that Kelvin Hayden is officially done for the year. Four-year veteran Sherick McManis and rookies C.J. Wilson and Demontre Hurst will get to prove their worth in the secondary and on special teams. Major Wright and Chris Conte are penciled in as the starters. Second-year man Brandon Hardin, six-year veteran Craig Steltz, third-year veteran Anthony Walters and six-year veteran Tom Zbikowski are all looking to fill up the backup spots at safety. Chyl Quarles and Tom Nelson are two unproven players who are a long shot to make the roster.
Weather.com Weather Forecast
Expect the weather to be in the low 80s. Mostly cloudy. Scattered thunderstorms. Numerous showers. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70 percent.
Jake Perper is the founder and head writer of Bearsbacker.com. Follow him on Twitter, @Bearsbacker and on Facebook for up to the minute news about the Chicago Bears.
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