Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
The plan for rookie Larry Borom—who returned to practice Thursday after exiting concussion protocol—is to keep him working at left tackle. As you probably know, Borom was a right tackle at Missouri and continued to play that position after being selected by the Bears in the fifth round of this year's draft. But he was inserted at left tackle at the Family Fest practice Aug. 3 at Soldier Field and did so well that offensive line coach Juan Castillo told reporters that he was a contender for the starting left tackle position. Unfortunately, Borom sustained a concussion in the next practice. Here's what coach Matt Nagy said about Borom Thursday: "We see him still at the left side and competing for that left spot. Unfortunately, he did have that one day and was out, so now he has to catch back up. He'll get opportunities with reps in practices and then with these preseason games." The Bears are high on Borom: Nagy said the team had second- and third-round grades on him and were thrilled to land him in the fifth round. They first saw that Borom had potential to play left tackle in OTAs—after he had lost a considerable amount of weight during the offseason—and were even more intrigued once the pads came on in training camp. Said Nagy: "Once we got to training camp, we saw some good things; in individual drills we saw that he was light on his feet. He's staying extra, putting in extra time, eliminating distractions. And then we got to Family Fest; to me that kind of showed, 'Hey, the stage wasn't too big for him.' The first day of pads out there in front of everybody, that was a different setting for our players, and he did great."
I thought rookie receiver Dazz Newsome was an excellent punt returner at North Carolina. Is he going to get a chance to return punts for the Bears?
Durham, North Carolina
Bears special teams coordinator Chris Tabor indicated Thursday that sixth-round pick Dazz Newsome is expected to get "a lot of opportunities" on special teams in Saturday's preseason game against the Bills, with some of those reps expected to come returning punts. The past three seasons at North Carolina, Newsome averaged 11.1 yards and scored two touchdowns on 48 punt returns. Said Tabor: "He's a confident player. He catches the ball well. He has good first-step quickness. He can make you miss. Overall, I think he's a good football player. So, it'll be time for him to put that on tape, and we're going to give him an opportunity to do that and I think he'll do that." Newsome missed most of the offseason program after sustaining a shoulder injury in an OTA practice June 2. He opened training camp on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list before being activated Aug. 2. In last Saturday's preseason opener versus the Dolphins, the 5-10, 184-pounder played eight snaps on offense and none on special teams.
Is this year the first time the Bears have ever played fewer than four preseason games?
Other than the 2020 season when the entire NFL preseason schedule was cancelled due to COVID-19, this year is the first time the Bears will play fewer than four preseason games since World War II when they had three in 1945. On the opposite side of the spectrum, in 1977, the Bears played seven preseason contests (including the Hall of Fame game) and 14 regular-season games. That's basically like a Major League Baseball team playing 81 spring-training contests. I'm sure glad that has changed!
Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.