The Chicago Bears’ offensive line depth will be tested this week.
Check it out:
Bears OL Rashaad Coward is not practicing today. Will not practice all week. Left elbow is in a brace.
— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) August 21, 2019
Swing tackle Rashaad Coward is not practicing this week because of a nagging left elbow injury. Coward left the Bears’ preseason Week 2 exhibition against the Giants in the second half because of an elbow injury and did not return. The issue has lingered into this practice week, and will keep him out of action.
So long as Coward is out of action, any number of bench players could take advantage of additional practice reps or possibly in-game snaps on Saturday against the Colts. Cornelius Lucas, T.J. Clemmings, and Marquez Tucker are listed as reserve tackles, while Jordan McCray, Joe Lowery, and Alex Bars are backup guards who could be asked to slide outside at a moments notice. This is an instance in which I could keep tabs on Bars, a Notre Dame product who has an extensive history with Bears OL Coach Harry Heistand and experience playing tackle.
No matter which way you slice it, an injury to Coward is a bummer. Coward was getting a significant look this preseason due to Head Coach Matt Nagy’s insistence on resting starters and regulars throughout the exhibition season.
Remember, he’s just one year removed from making the shift from nose tackle to right tackle, and the Bears were hoping to use him as a swing tackle who could play both sides of the line in a pinch (if necessary). But this injury could be a setback to seeing how that plays out. Preseason action might be meaningless to many fans, but Coward could use every practice rep and game snap imaginable to improve at a position he is still relatively new to playing.