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Brisker 'progressing' as season opener approaches | Quick Hits

Bears safety Jaquan Brisker
Bears safety Jaquan Brisker

After missing the entire preseason with an undisclosed injury, Jaquan Brisker is trending in the right direction to play in Sunday's season opener against the Packers.

More about the second-year safety's status will be known Wednesday when the Bears practice in pads and release their first official injury report of the week.

"Like I said last week, he is right there," coach Matt Eberflus said Monday at Halas Hall. "He's progressing. Wednesday's going to be a big day for him, but it looks on the positive side right now. We're looking at that. He had really good workouts this weekend."

Brisker said that he feels "way better" than he did two weeks ago.

"Two weeks ago, [I] couldn't really do too much," he said. "Really wasn't looking promising. Looking forward to Wednesday. It's going to be a big day for me." 

Brisker hopes to play in Sunday's opener after missing last year's Bears-Packers game at Soldier Field with a thumb injury. 

"I didn't get to play last year the second game here in Chicago, so I didn't really get the feel of that," Brisker said. "I wasn't even at the stadium. But now, I can't (wait), I'm itching (to play). It's Packers week. I know it's going to be loud in the stadium, fans everywhere. You know it's going to be loud … so, I can't wait. They didn't get to see me last year. They're going to get to see me this year, though."

Back to work: After having the weekend off, Bears players returned to Halas Hall Monday for meetings and a short practice. 

"We got on the field a little bit," Eberflus said. "We did light individual and some special teams and finished with a 7-on-7 just to get the guys moving around. We always think that's a good idea when you have a couple days off."

During a team meeting Monday morning, Eberflus discussed rhythm and routine. 

"It's the rhythm and routine of a player and NFL coach," Eberflus said. "You have to visit with your loved ones about that rhythm and routine and what that means to you to get yourself prepared and ready to go for these 17 Sundays that are so important to every one of us. It matters, and details matter and your preparation matters." 

"That's the phase they're in right now. They're in preparing, watching the film, studying their opponent, studying the guy they're going to go against, looking at their matchups. We have a good part of the gameplan in, [the players are] putting themselves in the game plan, where they fit in and where their plays are to be made during that time. That was kind of the visit this morning. Then we had a light practice today and now they're off to their preparation mode as we get into this week."

That time of year: Entering his eighth year in the NFL, offensive lineman Cody Whitehair understands the demands and sacrifices his wife and two children have to make during the football season. 

"They know what they signed up for," Whitehair said. "They know that this time of year is obviously an important time in our careers and the season. You've just got to be open with them and kind of tell them what it is. Usually, they respond really well. For me and my wife and kids, they understand that this is a busy time of year. They've done really good and are really supportive of what I've chosen to do." 

Welcome to the NFL: With the Bears preparing for their season opener, Whitehair reminisced about his first NFL game. A 2016 third-round pick from Kansas State, he played guard most of training camp as a rookie before being moved to center a week before the opener after the Bears signed veteran guard Josh Sitton. In Whitehair's first game, he lined up across from mammoth Texans nose tackle Vince Wilfork. 

"I had played a little bit of center at the Senior Bowl in practice, but that was really kind of my first [time] ever really snapping the ball against real live human beings. That was kind of an eye-opener. To open the season against Vince Wilfork, Hall of Fame [caliber] guy, that was quite the experience. That was kind of my, 'Welcome to the NFL' [moment]. It ended up working out for me and got me to this point where I am today."

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