The first week of the preseason has come and gone and now we're onto a single-game slate between the Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks to kick off preseason Week 2.
Let's dive into the news, notes, depth charts, historical playing time, and notable injuries for all four teams heading into Thursday.
Bears Notable Injuries/Absences:
OUT: RB David Montgomery; WR N'Keal Harry (ankle), WR David Moore (knee), LB Roquan Smith (holdout); UNLIKELY TO PLAY: WR Byron Pringle (quad); QUESTIONABLE: WR Tajae Sharpe (undisclosed), WR Chris Finke (undisclosed), TE Ryan Griffin (undisclosed); LIKELY TO PLAY: WR Velus Jones (undisclosed), TE Cole Kmet (undisclosed), TE James O'Shaughnessy, OL Teven Jenkins (undisclosed)
Bears News & Notes:
Status update as of 7:30 PM EST: David Montgomery won't play on Thursday night. Khalil Herbert and Trestan Ebner are expected to function as Chicago's top two RBs.
From The Athletic: RB Trestan Ebner, who was the start of Chicago's preseason opener, "should get a lot of touches again against the Seahawks as a returner, runner and receiver."
“That’s where he’s got to grow, and it’s not just pass pro, but it’s the pass game,” Getsy said. “It’s a challenge; we demand a lot of the running back in protection and in the pass game, and he’s capable of all those and he’s willing to do all those, so that’s all good. He’s just got to get more reps at dealing with those and experiencing those."
The same piece also highlighted rookie WR Velus Jones in his debut and if he'll be limited in this game:
"It’ll be the NFL debut for Jones, who returned to practice Monday after missing more than a week. What can he bring to the return game? How will offensive coordinator Luke Getsy use him? It’s an offense lacking players with dynamic traits like Jones’, and as the team’s third-round pick, there’s some pressure on Jones to perform. We haven’t seen a ton in camp, due in part to his injury. The team could be careful with his snaps, though, coming off the injury."
The Bears will play their starters around 6-10 snaps, per coach Matt Eberflus.
Chicago will go about playing time on an individual basis — some players may stay in for up to as many as 20 snaps in preseason Week 2.
There is no solidified plan for Montgomery or Kmet, but it appears both players are likely to suit up and play. They may only get a series or two, though:
The Bears will once again likely enter this game with injury issues at the WR position. Dating back to Week 1, Nsimba Webster led the position with 29 snaps while Isaiah Coulter led in targets (four) and target share (15.4%).
Offensive lineman Teven Jenkins will likely play more than the allotted 6-10 snaps for starters. The second-year player has lined up at RT and RG during training camp. He could be on the trading block.
LB Roquan Smith will travel to Seattle with the team but will not play. Like Jenkins, Smith could be traded at any time. The star linebacker is in a contract dispute with the team.
Second-round pick CB Kyler Gordon will make his preseason debut. He's been sidelined with an injury for a while but recently returned to practice.
Seahawks Notable Injuries/Absences:
OUT: QB Drew Lock (COVID-19), RB Rashaad Penny (groin), RB Kenneth Walker III (hernia), WR Dee Eskridge (hamstring), WR Cody Thompson (shoulder); QUESTIONABLE: WR Freddie Swain (back), WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring); LIKELY TO PLAY: LB Jordyn Brooks (hamstring), CB Sidney Jones (concussion)
Seahawks News & Notes:
Update as of 7:30 PM EST: Rashaad Penny (groin) won't play.
Seattle will start Geno Smith in preseason Week 2 and he will play "at least" the first half, with Jacob Eason to follow up after Smith checks out.
The Seahawks planned to start QB Drew Lock in this game as part of their grand scheme, though Lock tested positive for COVID-19 and won't be able to suit up in preseason Week 2:
WR Dee Eskridge won't play in this game. He's been sidelined for a while with a hamstring injury and could be losing ground in the No. 3 WR battle.
Recently, the Seahawks traded for castoff Eagles WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. It remains to be seen if he'll be able to play in this game with minimal practice time, but Arcega-Whiteside could get a handful of snaps with the unknown statuses at the WR position.
Seattle could be without both RBs Rashaad Penny and Kenneth Walker III. The three beneficiaries at the position in their absences would be DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer, and Darwin Thompson. Homer led the way with 21 snaps and two targets, while Dallas led the position with 10 rushing attempts in preseason Week 1.
WR Dareke Young is a player to circle heading into Week 2. The receiver led all players at his position in snap share (71.7%) and target share (17.2%). He could be in for another large workload if the team is without Goodwin, Swain, and Eskridge.