Bears could have rookie starting at MLB in preseason opener

Bears could have rookie starting at MLB in preseason opener
July 31, 2013, 3:30 pm
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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – In what could be the earliest feedback on their 2013 draft class, the Bears are likely to have a rookie starting at middle linebacker for the first preseason game and perhaps other significant lineup changes as well.

Rookie Jonathan Bostic, the team’s second-round pick out of Florida, moved in at middle linebacker on Wednesday after veteran starter D.J. Williams was taken off the field on a cart with a calf injury. Coach Marc Trestman termed the Williams’ condition as “week to week,” raising questions about Williams’ availability for the Aug. 9 game in Carolina.

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Bostic won the starting middle linebacker job at Florida midway through his sophomore year and never relinquished it. He is making any similar forecasts at the NFL level.

“I’ve just got to go out every day and do what they ask of me. That’s all I’m going to do,” Bostic said. “There is still a lot of stuff I’ve got to learn. I’m not perfect in any areas at all. I see that every day on film. So I’ve got to pick one thing out each and every day on what I want to get better on.”

Left tackle Jermon Bushrod remained out with a calf injury of his own that one source said was a two-week injury. That position was further scrambled when swing tackle Jonathan Scott strained his right knee and sat out practice, elevating former Jacksonville Jaguars tackle/guard Eben Britton to left tackle with the No. 1 offense.

Britton was a starting right tackle in 2009 as a rookie second-rounder for the Jaguars. Shoulder and back injuries the next two years landed him on IR and he was released after starting five games at guard in 2012.

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His “welcome to the starting lineup” on Wednesday put him against Julius Peppers.

“That was a lot of fun,” Britton said. “When you’re going against a guy like him, you’ve just got make sure your technique is right. Like we always say on the O-line, take little steps. It just makes you better playing against a guy like Julius.”