5 Chicago Bears we need to see more after bye week
4. It is time for Chicago Bears to start Alex Leatherwood
There have been whispers about him in the background, but Sunday we finally saw the former first-round pick. Riley Reiff started and played the majority of the game, but it is hard to think that the ten snaps Alex Leatherwood played on Sunday was not a small dip before being tossed into the lineup.
Leatherwood practiced at right tackle most of the week because Reiff missed time, and Larry Borom was inactive all week. So, it made sense that the team would give him a small dose of work after that full week of practice.
Still, even with a healthy Reiff, they probably gave him so much work because it was the first game for Justin Fields, and Leatherwood had just a few days of starting work.
Now, the team should give Leatherwood a full week of work. He should be looking to grow from the ten snaps he played Sunday. The heavy practice a week before leading into a small workload, then a bye week is a perfect lead-up to make a change.
The reality is that the only reason the team would not start Leatherwood is that they think he would hurt Justin Fields. There is no upside to Reiff, and in most good scenarios the team does not need to call on someone of his age and ability to start games next season. Leatherwood could blossom, and the team could have a first-rounder in year three locked down. The upside of starting Leatherwood outweighs the downside of Reiff potentially being a small upgrade. If Leatherwood is even decent, they have to give him a shot now.