Eberflus Speaks: Starters Playing Time Against Kansas City, Roquan Smith, Justin Fields, and Injury Updates

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Eberflus Speaks: Starters Playing Time Against Kansas City, Roquan Smith, Justin Fields, and Injury Updates

Chicago Bears

With today’s practice in the books, the Bears will next be in action on Saturday when they take on the Kansas City Chiefs in their preseason opener at Soldier Field. And to that end, Bears head coach Matt Eberflus met with the media this afternoon to discuss a few topics, including what kind of playing time we can expect for starters this weekend.

Eberflus said that the Bears starters will get 15-20 plays against the Chiefs on Saturday, but playing time will vary by player, with some getting more or less than the general number of plays. Two players that will not play on Saturday are David Montgomery and Cole Kmet, who are day-to-day with undisclosed injuries.

Eberflus also spoke on the absence of Roquan Smith from practice today with Smith being off the PUP list.

“He was cleared by our medical staff as healthy, and he did not practice. The reason why for that is you have to ask him. We expect all of our healthy players to practice. And that was his decision. You’ll have to ask him.”

Eberflus noted that he had not talked to Smith today, so he wouldn’t comment on the matter any further, but the rookie head coach said enough in his brief comments on the topic. He made it clear that with Smith off the PUP list and healthy, the expectation from the coaching staff is that he is on the practice field.

The Bears can fine Smith $40,000 per day for non-injury-related practice absences beginning today, and while there’s been no word from Halas Hall on if or when they’ll start that, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was sooner than later given Eberflus’ comments this afternoon.

Which reaffirms my belief that the gloves might be coming off on the Bears’ side of things.

Eberflus also went over some injury updates this afternoon; here’s the summary of those:

  • Wide receiver N’Keal Harry underwent surgery, confirming a report this morning, but Eberflus did not provide a timetable for Harry’s return. Mike Garafolo reported this morning that Harry’s recovery time could be around eight weeks.
  • Wide receiver David Moore will be out “for a bit” with a lower leg injury; no timetable on that one either from Eberflus.

As far as Saturday’s preseason opener is concerned, Eberflus said to expect them to operate in a simple fashion as they get their sea legs under them and focus more on evaluating personnel and how they fit the schemes they plan on deploying.

“What we’re looking for there is logistically operating as a football team on gameday,” Eberflus said. “This is all of our first time together, so we’re doing that, and then looking at scheme … the things that we’re going to operate. Sure, we’re going to be basic and simple with our schemes during the preseason, but we want to see how we operate and how those schemes operate. Really, the big piece to this is the personnel, evaluating every piece on our roster from the first man to the last and how they fit in with the Chicago Bears.”

Nothing earth-shattering there from Eberflus, but it’s nice to know that the starters are going to be playing some this weekend, a change from recent years.

Eberflus also complimented Justin Fields’ performance today, a performance that received ringing endorsements from those in attendance at camp today, which is also pretty nice to hear heading into the first preseason game this weekend.

“I thought the offense came out really well,” Eberflus said. “His timing is getting better, and we’re excited where he is on that front.”

You can watch Eberflus’ full media availability here:



Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.