Mitchell Trubisky | © Patrick Gorski | 2019 Jun 11
The Bears didn’t bring their entire 90-man roster to New Jersey for the second exhibition game against the New York Giants on Friday night — which is somewhat surprising and we’ll get to why in a moment.
But Matt Nagy, unsurprisingly, will sit every one of his starters, two days after holding a mock game under the lights at Halas Hall, after which he basically admitted he prefers that to the preseason and we might not see the regulars until Sept. 5 vs. the Green Bay Packers.
At least 26 Bears won’t play at MetLife Stadium, and rather than type out the long list, we’ll encourage you to have a look at the Bears’ version yourself. One notable mention … and subsequent omission: top pick David Montgomery, who shined in his preseason debut last week, apparently showing more than enough to convince Nagy he’s ready for the real thing without being subjected to further injury. Good thing, too, because even after that dynamic six touches in the first half last week, it was Montgomery on teams making a potential touchdown-saving tackle on a punt return early in the third quarter. Let’s all hope we don’t see that again, either.
It’s not exactly shocking, but it all but confirms Montgomery, not vet signee Mike Davis, barring injury, is going to be Nagy’s lead dog in the backfield — as he should. Our Hub Arkush explained earlier Friday why he thought Davis would play and what he’s hoping to see from the vet, who’s had a quiet camp to date.
As for the player who didn’t make the trip, Kyle Long was held back in Chicago, almost certainly because of his role in the dangerous, helmet-swinging fracas with undrafted rookie DE Jalen Dalton Wednesday night. We’ll hear what Nagy has to say about the decision later. Meantime, we got a good chuckle from our pal over at the Sun-times, Patrick Finley, who tweeted that a better punishment for Long would’ve been not only having him travel but play.
Of course, Long is far too important a player for the Bears to risk in a meaningless game. Then again, the same rationale applies to practice, where his temper has been an increasingly troubling issue over the past week.
The Giants announced 10 players who aren’t expected to play, headlined by reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley, as big a thorn in the side of Chicago’s top-rated ‘D’ last season as anyone. Additionally, talented third-year TE Evan Engram, slot WR Sterling Shepard and defensive captain and starting MLB Alec Ogletree will be among Big Blue’s observers.
So grab your popcorn, but don’t forget your roster, because you’ll likely need it to identify many of the players.
Pro Football Weekly has the good, bad and ugly from Friday night here.