Chicago Bears host Cleveland Browns: 5 Things to Watch

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Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Kevin White (West Virginia) is selected as the number seven overall pick to the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Can the Bears avoid further injury?

Won’t this preseason ever end?

The Bears – and other teams – seem to have endured a brutal number of injuries this preseason. Maybe the Bears have just been lucky in past years and it’s time to pay the bill, but this preseason has been devastating. The NFL needs to take another look at the preseason and consider shortening it. I’m saying that now as a Bears fan, but also as a football fan. Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game; I know that. But there’s no point in having players participating in a game and risking their careers and more importantly their health in a game that means absolutely NOTHING.

OK, off the soapbox.

For the Bears, Jeffery, White, Wilson and Royal are all battling injuries. Bushrod’s back is acting up. Clausen suffered a concussion. Ratliff injured his ankle Saturday. Goldman suffered a concussion. Ryan Mundy, White and Perry are on injured reserve. Others are battling injuries, too, including Bostic and Porter.

That’s the top two nose tackles, the top four wide receivers, the starting left tackle, the primary reserve safety and the backup quarterback and a pair of reserve defenders.

Dec 28, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) runs after his catch in the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings defensive back Xavier Rhodes (29) at TCF Bank Stadium. The Minnesota Vikings win 13-9. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

On a team expected to be mediocre at best and horrendous at worst, the Bears can’t afford to continue suffering injuries like they have. If the season started today, I think Josh Bellamy and Cameron Meredith would be the starting wide receivers, while The Swamp Monster would be the starting nose tackle. I love the nickname. I don’t want him starting.

I fully expect the Bears to give starters limited playing time Thursday, and possibly even give guys like Forte, Goldman (if cleared through concussion protocol) and all the wide receivers the night off. White is out for the foreseeable future, and Ratliff is suspended for the first three games. There’s no reason to risk further injury to Ratliff, Goldman, Jeffery and Royal, who, if healthy, will be the two starting wide receivers.

While the Bears need to sort out the roster, it’s far more important for the coaching staff and players to simply focus on doing what they can to make sure the players are as healthy as they can be for the Sept. 13 kickoff against Green Bay.

Next: Matt Forte A Top 100 NFL Player

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