Chicago Bears: Was Roquan Smith subtly named starter?

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Over the weekend, Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy may have subtly named a starter at inside linebacker. Is it Roquan Smith?

As you are all probably aware, Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy decided to sit most starters against the Kansas City Chiefs. In my opinion, the only defensive player that played in the game that may be a starter was linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski.

Wait, didn’t the Bears use the eighth overall pick on linebacker Roquan Smith? Yes, they sure did. Also, Smith didn’t play in the game. That could mean that either the Bears view Smith as the starter or they wanted to simply hold Smith out due to his hamstring tightness.

However, even after Smith suffered the hamstring tightness, he was still seen practicing the next day. Sure, he may not be 100 percent, but the feeling is that if it was a regular season game, Smith would have been able to play.

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With Kwiatkoski playing in the preseason game, the Bears basically told everyone that Kwiatkoski could get hurt and it not be a detriment to team success, because they’d have Smith. Other than Smith, Kwiatkoski and Danny Trevathan, the Bears have John Timu, Jonathan Anderson. Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Ro’Derrick Hoskins and Josh Woods.

If the Bears really held Kwiatkoski in the highest regard and wanted to make sure he was starting Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers, he would have been wrapped in bubble wrap on the sidelines like the rest of the key players that didn’t play. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio would have just started Timu and Iyiegbuniwe.

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Kwiatkoski is a solid player, but Smith is a generational talent that can help defend what the Packers do well. Fangio knows this and he will make sure that Smith is starting alongside Trevathan in the first week of the season.