Chicago Bears HOF game what to watch for: O-line

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 24: Cameron Heyward
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 24: Cameron Heyward /

What should we expect to see from the Chicago Bears offensive line in the first preseason game?

The Chicago Bears are likely to keep things vanilla in what is now their first of five preseason games. So while the starters are not entirely under the spotlight on Thursday night, there is still something for the diehards to watch. They get to see the depth pieces, the young projects who may have taken a step forward, and the practice squad candidates.

With that in mind, what are some things to look for on the offensive line?

Kyle Long is not going to play. Let’s get that straight. Given his injury history and recovery period, there is no chance. Charles Leno, Bobby Massie, and Cody Whitehair will probably not play either. Again, these are not the players to watch.

Eric Kush, James Daniels

With Eric Kush and James Daniels, there may not even be too much to see. Kush is currently the starter at left guard, but is coming off of season-ending surgery and has been looked at as a depth piece his entire career. The Bears are likely going to want to shake the rust off, even if he does not play long.

What will be interesting to see is how long and where James Daniels plays. He has primarily been playing at LG and C, so he may not get the start at RG with Long on the pine. As mentioned, Kush is unlikely to play much either. It could be a situation where Daniels plays with the second string at LG and then continues to get snaps as third-string center. Or does he play one position?

Earl Watford

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With Daniels not seeing many snaps at RG, it is likely Watford to start, if there are even starters around him. Still, this is significant momentum in his favor when it comes to making the 53-man roster. If he is a very quick pull, like the first drive and out, he has to feel good about his standing.

Hroniss Grasu

It would seem likely that it is Grasu starting at center in the Hall of Fame game. Grasu has been dealing with an injury so he may not see the field long, either though. This will open a chance for depth pieces.

Bradley Sowell and Matt McCants

If Leno and Massie do not dress, McCants and Sowell are likely your tackle starters. In most situations, only one of these two makes the 53-man roster. While who wins that job will not be decided on Thursday, momentum and who sees the field first in the next preseason game are on the line early into the game.

Jordan Morgan

Jordan Morgan is a project who seemingly never got a chance to set his feet in the NFL before heading to the IR. This game is perfect for him. He gets precious snaps against competition at his skill level. Those snaps will be arguably the best chance the Bears have to look at him all year.

The questions become, how early can you get him in, and how long can you keep him in the game? He should get in right after Watford at right guard, and if I were the Bears, I would be looking at him well into the second half.

Dejon Allen

Allen is a swiss army knife but has some buzz coming into the preseason. Where he lines up, who he lines up with and how many chances he gets at each position are going to be worth noting.

 Jack Allen

With the Grasu injury and questions about how long and how many positions James Daniels plays, this could be a good chance for Jack Allen to make some momentum. Allen was just recently signed to the roster but should see plenty of snaps in the second half.