Here are four things we learned from coach Matt Eberflus and Bears players.
1. Matt Eberflus expects the Packers to ‘throw their fastball’ at rookie right tackle Darnell Wright.
Wright, the No. 10 pick in the 2023 draft, played only seven snaps in the preseason, and that was nearly a month ago. Now, after missing the third preseason game while recovering from an apparent ankle injury, Wright is diving in to face some formidable Packers defensive linemen in the opener.
“They’ve got a lot of first-round picks on that defense, and a lot of them are up front,” Eberflus said. “Those guys are going to throw their fastball, and he’s got to be able to do his thing in terms of setting the right way, setting in pass pro, being aggressive but under control in the run game, being able to work with the guy next to him.
“Five equals one in terms of our offensive line. I’m excited for him. I’m excited to see him play.”
Wright said he has been leaning on second-year left tackle Braxton Jones to help him navigate the unknowns as he makes his regular-season debut.
“I can help myself off the mistakes he made and try not to make those mistakes,” Wright said. “But also there’s a certain point you don’t want to be chasing ghosts, like a lot of what-ifs. What if? What if? You want to just go out there and play. At the end of the day, it’s football.”
2. DJ Moore was ‘ecstatic’ to be named a captain.
Eberflus announced last week that Moore was picked to be one of four season-long captains with quarterback Justin Fields, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and safety Eddie Jackson. Moore said this is the first time he was named a captain in his six NFL seasons.
“Shoot, I was jumping up and down in my seat low-key,” Moore said. “Glad nobody noticed.”
More than one player and coach have talked about how Moore, who is expected to give the passing offense a major boost, brings a quiet leadership.
Moore said he thinks his teammates noticed “how I go about the business and handle myself in front of everybody and just being … a brother, somebody you could joke around with and just get to know.”
Sunday’s game will be Moore’s first for a team other than the Carolina Panthers, but he said he got all of his butterflies out in the first preseason game. He said the Bears are excited to show “all the weapons that are here.”
“To get this going and rolling with Justin (Fields), it’s going to be fun to watch,” Moore said.
3. The Bears are ‘leaning’ toward making Nathan Peterman the backup quarterback in Week 1.
The Bears released their depth chart Tuesday, and Peterman was listed second behind Fields. Undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent, who also is on the 53-man roster, was listed third.
Eberflus said the decision isn’t final but the Bears are leaning toward that order.
“We certainly reserve the right to make any adjustments as we need to going forward,” Eberflus said. “We’re always looking at guys developing and improving during the course of the year, and that person could jump into a No. 2 role or could stay where he is. That’s with everybody for us.”
The Bears listed Cody Whitehair at left guard and Lucas Patrick at center. They moved into those roles after left guard Teven Jenkins suffered a calf injury and went on injured reserve. Whitehair also was dealing with a hand injury.
“That’s what we feel is the best combination,” Eberflus said. “And certainly during practice we’re going to flip that combination because you have to be ready. The old pair and a spare, you’ve got to be ready to go.”
4. Jaquan Brisker, Eddie Jackson and DeMarcus Walker were limited in practice.
The first injury report of the season revealed the injuries all three players suffered. Brisker missed much of training camp with a groin injury, Walker has been dealing with a calf issue and Jackson had an ankle injury.
Eberflus said he would watch Brisker during Wednesday’s padded practice to make sure he was back to full speed as he and Jackson try to get ready for the opener. Jackson said after practice he feels back to 100%.
“A lot of work rehabbing, getting back,” Jackson said. “It feels good.”
Linebacker Dylan Cole (hamstring) was the only player who didn’t practice.