Records: CHI 0-2 @ IND 0-2
Kickoff: 6 pm
TV: Fox 32
Radio: WBBM 780/105.9 FM
RIP Lil Sebastian: StampedeBlue.com
Week 3 in Preseason usually means you might get something that resembles a real NFL game for at least a quarter, maybe two or more if you’re lucky. The clash of of the Bears and Colts will not look like this. The Colts are down QBs #1 and #2 and Matt Nagy doesn’t want to lose a bet to himself that he wouldn’t allow his starters to challenge anyone but each other until September 5th. Maybe they didn’t want to step on College Football opening night? This one is going to be all about the deep reaches of the roster from the first whistle, friends.
Indianapolis remains without American Civil War General Andrew Luck, So Frank Reich will err on the side of caution and sit his de facto starter Jacoby Brissett to avoid any pointless injury and a real big mess. Chad Kelly or Philip Walker will get the start with each getting plenty of work, and that work will likely be done alongside other backups as Reich announced he’ll go full Nagy and “sit most of” his starting lineup. Swag Kelly vs Walker counts as a thing to watch here, as one will likely get cut. Guys that don’t deserve the opportunity like Kelly keep getting chances while there’s one very capable and ready QB sitting out there, but that’s another blog for another time. I, for one, hope he gets battered and exposed.
The biggest story line is still Luck, who hasn’t practiced since July 28. Ankle and Calf pain have sidelined the Colts QB for nearly a month, calling into question his ability to start the season in two weeks. He’s expected back on Monday, but the decision to sit Brissett tells you all you need to know about Luck’s recent lack of just that in the injury department. After third QB, it sounds like deciding between five or six WR and three or four TEs are the big roster decisions for Indy. Look for Krishawn Hogan and Zach Pascal to take some chances making plays on both special teams and in the passing game with a roster spot on the line.
Chicago players and coaches spent the week apologizing and diminishing the sensational story of the week, one that – you guessed it – involved their unending quest for a kicker. Eddy Piñeiro is last man standing from internal kicking candidates, but his job isn’t done yet. He’ll need to continue to make all his in-game kicks to hold off challengers from around the league, especially on Saturday night in a dome. Nagy doesn’t appear likely to go off course with playing time distributions now, so strap in for more Chase Daniel to Javon Wims.
“Tight ends, middle linebacker and at corner.” – Matt Nagy
The focus does shift a bit this week with one kicker in the building. Clearly coach is looking for someone to step up at the aforementioned positions. TE seems like a bigger area of concern than the rest, with Trey Burton still nursing injuries and Adam Shaheen still hardly ever playing because of them. Bradley Sowell is the least qualified, but the team seems to appreciate his full buy in and progress so far and that makes him the safest bet right now. Ian Bunting and Dax Raymond are battling behind him, and if they keep showing similar returns as the last two weeks Pace will be looking around the league on cut day instead of internally for TEs.
You could really lump ILB James Woods, OLB/EDGE Kyle Fitts, James Vaughters, Chuck Harris and Matt Betts, DB John Franklin III, Clifton Duck, Michael Joseph and Jonathon Mincy as players all vying for the same 3-4 positions at the bottom of the active roster. There are a few here that are likely looking at practice squad roles or jobs elsewhere, but this group needs to make plays on special teams and do the little things when they do get time on defense to show the coaches they’re worthy.