One day after releasing a fairly encouraging injury report, the Bears went the wrong way in the participation department. On Thursday, three players did not participate in practice, compared to Wednesday when only one player was listed as DNP. However, three players took a good step forward. Eddie Jackson, Jaquan Brisker and DeMarcus Walker all practiced in full on Thursday after being limited on Wednesday.
Starting right guard Nate Davis (personal), blocking tight end Marcedes Lewis (vet day) and special teams linebacker Dylan Cole (hamstring) all missed practice entirely. Cole was a DNP on Wednesday, and hasn’t been healthy enough to practice for most of the year.
The most impactful absence is Davis’. GM Ryan Poles signed him to a reported three-year, $30 million contract this offseason to take over at right guard and help the offensive line better protect Justin Fields. However, Davis missed most of training camp with an undisclosed injury. It’s worth noting that Davis was in the building even though he was listed as out for a personal reason. It’s unclear what that personal reason is, and if it will affect his availability on Sunday at all. If Davis can’t play, either second-year guard Ja’Tyre Carter or newcomer Dan Feeney figure to take his place. Carter only played 31 snaps on offense as a rookie last year and struggled in pass protection over those limited snaps. The Bears just traded for Feeney last week, so he’s still new to the offensive scheme compared to the rest of the group.
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Chicago sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
The Bears brought Lewis in earlier this summer in part because of his veteran presence and leadership qualities, and because he’s known as one of the better run blocking tight ends in the league. But Lewis is expected to work behind Cole Kmet and Robert Tonyan, so his workload may have been lighter compared to the other skill players on the team. There should be no worries about his chances to play against the Packers.
Cole was expected to contribute as a core special teams player this year. He’s in real risk of missing Week 1 now, so other Bears will have the opportunity to step up in his absence.
Finally, Jackson, Brisker and Walker all appear to be good to go for the season opener, barring any setbacks tomorrow.