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Chicago Sun Times
Chicago Sun-Times
12 Aug 2023

NextImg:Four Bears defensive starters sit out preseason opener

The Bears played without four defensive starters Saturday against the Titans: defensive ends DeMarcus Walker and Yannick Ngakoue; middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds; and safety Jaquan Brisker.

Elijah Hicks started at safety, while Jack Sanborn moved from strong-side linebacker to middle to take Edmunds’ place. Rookie Noah Sewell played on the strong side when the Bears weren’t in nickel.  Rasheem Green and Dominique Robinson started at defensive end.

Head coach Matt Eberflus called Walker, Brisker and Edmunds day-to-day and said the Bears were “hopeful” they could participate in joint practices against the Colts this week.

Receiver Chase Claypool and right guard Nate Davis remained out with injuries. Other notable players who didn’t participate include guard/center Lucas Patrick; cornerbacks Terell Smith and Josh Blackwell; tight end Marcedes Lewis; and receiver Dante Pettis.

Running back splits

Running back Khalil Herbert started the game and was later replaced by veteran D’Onta Foreman. Both finished with three carries, with Herbert gaining 15 yards and Foreman nine.

Rookie Roschon Johnson played the second half and finished with 12 carries for 44 yards, including a long of 24.  Trestan Ebner left the game in the second quarter with an injury.

This and that

• Asked how first-round pick Darnell Wright played in his first NFL game, Eberflus said he’d have to consult the game tape by thought there were “a couple snaps where he looked good.”

The right tackle admitted to being nervous.

“Crowd was amazing …” he said. “I was nervous — had butterflies — but it was fun.”

• Rapper Lil Durk attended the game between back-to-back headlining shows at the United Center. He met quarterback Justin Fields and president/CEO Kevin Warren.

• Kicker Cairo Santos made field goals of 28, 29 and 49 yards.

• The Bears sold 59,829 tickets.