Chicago Bears: Versatility on OL now a silver lining for the team

teven jenkins, bears

The Chicago Bears offensive line has been ravaged throughout training camp. On paper, the expectation was that the starting five left to right would be: Teven Jenkins, James Daniels, Sam Mustipher, Cody Whitehair, and Germain Ifedi. Four weeks into training camp, the projected starting five has yet to practice together even once. Jenkins underwent back surgery that will sideline him indefinitely. Daniels dealt with a quad issue while Ifedi has been on the PUP list.

Injuries have forced the Bears to rely on a makeshift offensive line, providing second, third, and fourth-string players with the opportunity to receive additional reps throughout practice. Injuries to starters also provide the coaching staff with the chance to evaluate depth across the entire unit, a silver lining within itself.

“I think what you’ll see with most of our guys, is we got guys that can move across the board,” head coach Matt Nagy said via the Bears official YouTube page. “Left side, right side, they’ve kind of been forced to do that.”

Nagy is right. Injuries to key starters have forced the Bears’ offensive line to reshuffle multiple times, however, Chicago has also valued versatility in offensive lineman. Alex Bars and Larry Borom are two players that have been forced to learn multiple different positions throughout the course of training camp. Daniels and Whitehair are also players that have played multiple positions along the interior of the offensive line over the last two seasons.

As the Bears prepare to trim the roster down to 53 players, emphasis will be put on players who can play both left and right tackle but also switch to playing inside if needed. Offensive line coach Juan Castillo made the most of a makeshift offensive line last season with inconsistency at the quarterback position and injuries early in camp should see Castillo do much of the same as the regular season draws closer.

Dodgers Continue To Own The Mets As They Take Game One, 4-1

mets, pete alonso

The New York Mets were supposed to compete on the same level as the Los Angeles Dodgers when Steve Cohen bought them, but that has been far from the case this year. The Dodgers bullpen outmatched the offense, and Taijuan Walker could not rekindle his success from last week in the 4-1 loss.

Walker battled through six-inning, allowing four runs, and struck out four batters. His velocity was great as he hit 97 mph on multiple occasions but ran into trouble navigating the elite Dodgers lineup. Will Smith continued to torture the Mets as his second-inning double set up a second and third situation with no one out. Smith and Seager both ended up scoring on a ground out to get an early 2-0 lead. In the fifth, familiar faces Billy McKinney and Trea Turner took care of the final two runs. McKinney doubled to the left-center gap, and Turner’s seeing-eye single snuck by a shifted Jeff McNeil.

The More The Merrier 

Manager Dave Roberts threw the gauntlet by using seven different pitchers in the bullpen game. They did a terrific job shutting down the offense all night. The Mets were held to just one run and the same amount of extra-base hits. J.D. Davis was responsible for both as his RBI double was the only tally they had on the night. Blake Treinen was dominant as ever in the ninth by striking out the side to complete the save.

The loss is the sixth in the last seven games and puts them five games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves. Carlos Carrasco will take the mound against Walker Buehler as the Mets look to beat the Dodgers. The first pitch from Dodger Stadium is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. ET.