Bears rookies cementing Opening Day starting jobs

Bears rookies cementing Opening Day starting jobs
August 19, 2013, 4:45 pm
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Lineup and roster decisions have ways of making themselves and those are becoming closer to happening for a handful of Bears.

Rookies Kyle Long and Jordan Mills will start their second straight games at right guard and tackle, respectively, after posting the two highest grades of any Bears offensive linemen, according to one stats source.

Long is the highest-graded guard in the NFL after two games and 86 snaps, according to ProFootballFocus.com stats analysis. And Mills graded out positively in his 33 snaps as well, even if their coach isn’t ready to put their names in ink on the lineup card just yet.

“We’re not ready to pass judgment yet overall,” coach Marc Trestman said. “We’re just going to let this thing play itself out. But to be as straightforward as I can, it was a positive experience for our football team to have them out there.”

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Middle linebacker D.J. Williams (calf) continued to be left out of practice on Monday and is expected to miss another 12-14 days, according to Trestman.

That means he will not be ready for Friday’s game against the Oakland and probably not the Cleveland game. The starting job then continues to be rookie Jonathan Bostic’s to lose, and he isn’t doing the things to lose it at this point.

“[Bostic’s play vs. San Diego] was a mixed bag,” said defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. “He did some good things and he did some bad things too. We all need to improve and it’s like that with all the guys.”

Williams has veteran time on his side. But he has another issue working against him now.

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“We’re getting closer to the season and his conditioning now becomes an issue,” Trestman said. “We think that eventually he’ll be back certainly. We just don’t know when….

“He’s on schedule to come back over the time period that we expected him to. Of course he expected to come back a lot quicker and most players do of his caliber. So we’ll see what happens over the next few weeks and hopefully we’ll get him out here to practice in the next 12-14 days or better.”