7 Bears who impressed during the second week of training camp

·7 min read

The Chicago Bears have wrapped their second week of training camp at Halas Hall. There were no shortage of storylines, including more development along the offensive line and some injury updates.

The Bears are gearing up for the start of the preseason, where players will get more chances to prove themselves. But before that, there were some standout performances during the second week of practice. Whether it’s veterans looking to break out or rookies looking to be immediate impact players, there were some encouraging performances on display.

Here’s a look at seven players who impressed during the second week of training camp practices:

RB Trestan Ebner

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Rookie running back Trestan Ebner has been in the headlines this week as he continues to flash his impressive skillset during practice. Ebner has been one of the standouts since the start of training camp, where he’s showcased his speed and playmaking ability. That’s included some impressive runs during team drills, where he showed his elusiveness. Ebner has been utilized in multiple roles, whether it’s in the run game or catching passes out of the backfield. While the Bears have their top backs in David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert, Ebner could carve out a nice role for himself on offense as a rookie.

They Said It: “He can catch the ball really well out of the backfield, he’s really explosive. I’m excited to see what he can do because he’s a very explosive player.” — Khalil Herbert on Ebner

WR Tajae Sharpe

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran wide receiver Tajae Sharpe started training camp on the non-football injury (NFI) list, which didn’t help his chances as a roster bubble player competing for a roster spot. But with injuries to some of Chicago’s top wideouts, Sharpe is seeing increased reps with the starters, and he’s making the most of them. Sharpe has been a standout over this last week, where he’s made some impressive catches from Fields. If Sharpe continues to impress during practice and into the preseason, he could certainly find himself in the mix for a roster spot.

They Said It: “When you have a guy step up like that, that’s awesome. That’s what it’s all about, right? Guys go down, guys step up and Tajae did a nice job. We’re excited to have him back. He’s back now and he looks good in the drills.” — Matt Eberflus on Sharpe

S Jaquan Brisker

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Rookie safety Jaquan Brisker has been must-see TV at training camp, where he continues to make an impression as a ballhawk in the secondary. It’s easy to see why the Bears were high on Brisker coming out of the draft. He’s physical, instinctive and always seems to be around the football. He’s either forcing turnovers or getting his hand on the ball, and it’s clear he’s going to be a problem for opposing offenses. It hasn’t necessarily been good for Chicago’s offense, which is looking to make progress. But it’s been good for the Bears secondary, which was one of the worst in the league last season.

They Said It: “Jaquan, I didn’t really know too much about him coming in. I had a lot of question marks, but just seeing him play, and having conversations with him, and working out after practice, he’s definitely hungry for success. He’s definitely a competitor. He wants to win, and I love that to start with, for sure.” — Jaylon Johnson on Brisker

DE Al-Quadin Muhammad

USA Today Sports

Defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad comes to the Bears with a knowledge of Matt Eberflus’ defense, which has made for an easy transition. He’s been making a solid impact through these second week of practices, where he’s been bringing pressure on quarterback Justin Fields. During one practice, Muhammad had a dominant two-minute drill, where he would’ve had three sacks on Fields. But he’s consistently brought pressure on Fields — which isn’t encouraging for the offensive line — where he’s gotten home for the sack of forced incompletions by Fields. Muhammad is battling the for the starting edge rusher job with Trevis Gipson. And while both have had a strong camp, Muhammad appears to have a slight edge.

They Said It: “Get to the quarterback and hit the quarterback as many times as I can. That’s pretty much it. I don’t really have a particular number, just do it as many times as I can do it.” — Al-Quadin Muhammad on his goal for 2022

LB Joe Thomas

AP/ Photo Jeffrey T. Barnes

With star linebacker Roquan Smith on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list — and still amid a contract dispute — it’s given veteran Joe Thomas an opportunity to show what he’s got. Thomas has been one of the standouts at linebacker this summer, where he’s been taking reps at strong-side linebacker with the starters. He’s competing with Matt Adams, who’s filling in for Smith at WILL, for that starting SAM spot. Thomas leads the team’s linebackers in turnovers through for the first two weeks of practice. Thomas is certainly someone who could benefit from a strong training camp, especially with roster spots up for grabs at linebacker.

They Said It: “He stands out because he’s leading the group in turnovers. We keep track of how many guys have intercepted the ball, how many balls you’ve knocked out, how many scoop and scores and he’s leading the group. So those two guys are standouts right now.” — Alan Williams on Thomas

WR Equanimeous St. Brown

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

While Darnell Mooney continues to be the standout at wide receiver, it’s Equanimeous St. Brown who’s been one of the most pleasant surprises of the summer. Given Fields is working with a mostly-new receiving corp, the fact that St. Brown is growing into a dependable target for Fields is noteworthy. St. Brown has been a top target during red zone drills, given he’s a big-bodied receiver, and he’s limited mistakes, for the most part. But St. Brown has the added benefit of previously playing in Luke Getsy’s offense, which has helped Fields.

They Said It: “He’s been in this offense for a number of years, so he really doesn’t make mistakes when it comes to running the plays. He’s definitely always in the right spot and knows where to be on certain plays. He’s a weapon in this offense for sure.” — Justin Fields on St. Brown

OT Braxton Jones

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Rookie Braxton Jones has made quite the impression during training camp, and that shows with the coaching staff giving Jones all of the first-team reps at left tackle over the last week. While he was splitting reps with Riley Reiff, Reiff was eventually moved to right tackle and Jones has been the guy at left tackle ever since. At this point, Jones appears to be the favorite to start at left tackle when the regular season kicks off. While he’s been far from perfect, Jones has held his own against some talented edge rushers in Robert Quinn, Al-Quadin Muhammad and Trevis Gipson. Right now, this appears to be Jones’ job to lose.

They Said It: “You get into the pads and there was zero intimidation. Going against Robert Quinn your very first one-on-one pass rush, right? It’s an intimidating thing. He stepped up and did a great job. He’s answered the bell.” — Luke Getsy on Jones

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire