Bright spots were hard to find for the first 28 minutes of the preseason game against the Broncos on Thursday at Soldier Field. Mike Glennon had a passer rating of zero, the Bears’ defense committed penalties on four consecutive plays and the sideline chains broke.
Rookie running back Tarik Cohen looked to be the biggest reason for optimism, that is until quarterback Mitch Trubisky ran the two-minute drill that led to a touchdown to end the first half.
The 5-6 running back did his best to show that his captivating training camp can translate to game action. Cohen, whom the Bears consider a true third-down back, showed that he’s more than a pass catcher. His speed translated into outside runs, and his body withstood the punishment of live NFL action.
The fourth-round pick carried seven times in the first half for 39 yards. Had he not grazed the sideline on a spin move, he would have finished with double the yardage.
He was the team’s first choice to return punts, too, taking one for 17 yards before Eddie Jackson replaced him late in the second quarter.
“Tarik flashed quite a bit at training camp, and we’ve seen a lot of what he’s capable of,” coach John Fox said. “I think most people saw it [Thursday].”
Kyle Long and Danny Trevathan continue to progress from surgeries last season, but neither is ready for game action.
Long, who is recovering from ankle surgery, played in 11-on-11 drills for the first time Tuesday. The Bears hope Trevathan, who is recovering from patellar tendon surgery, could do the same later this week.
Outside linebacker Lamarr Houston, who like Long returned to 11-on-11 drills Tuesday, did not play; he’s recovering from a torn ACL suffered last year. Receiver Markus Wheaton, who had an appendectomy early in training camp, also sat out.
Others who did not play: receiver Titus Davis (hamstring), receiver Daniel Braverman (quad), safety Harold Jones-Quartey (ankle), running back Jeremy Langford (ankle) and cornerback Rashaad Reynolds.
Fourth-string quarterback Connor Shaw also didn’t play; the team ruled him out earlier this week after he had surgery to remove a screw from the leg he broke last preseason.
This and that
Outside linebacker Willie Young played after recovering from a slight groin strain. In the first quarter, he was flagged for unnecessary roughness after tackling rookie tackle Garett Bolles to the ground after the whistle.
— While Cohen got the first chance to return punts, incumbent Deonte Thompson returned kicks to begin the game.
— Running back Ka’Deem Carey left the game with a quad injury.
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