The Chicago Bears open the pre-season next Friday against the Carolina Panthers.
Typically, the first game of the pre-season is nothing more than the first-team unit getting their feet wet while the second, third, and even fourth team-units do the full swimming test.
However, the Bears’ first game of the pre-season does hold some significance.
The Bears’ could potentially have three or four new starters on the offensive line. As a unit, the offensive line may be the most important unit on the team.
That is why last pre-season, the Bears’ first-team offensive line played for most of the first half in the team’s first pre-season games.
The reason for extended minutes of play for the Bears’ first-team offensive line unit is for the players to not only establish a rapport with each other but with starting quarterback Jay Cutler as well.
Left tackle Jermon Bushrod, the Bears’ prized free agent signing this off-season, hasn’t practiced since Monday while dealing with a calf injury.
On Friday, Bushrod appeared without a walking boot for the first time this week, but the left tackle may not play in the team’s pre-season opener.
“It’d be nice. It’d be nice to get out there and put some of this hard work that we’ve been doing out there against another opponent,” he said Friday. “But I do not want to get it to the point where I’m out even longer.”-Jermon Bushrod, CBS Chicago
Bushrod is an important player to the Bears’ offensive line. Bushrod will be protecting Cutler’s blind-side, that would be why the left tackle needs to be on the field in order to establish a trust with the quarterback.
Bushrod will likely return to practice next week, but his status for the Bears’ pre-season opener remains uncertain.