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Danny Trevathan, Eddie Goldman among Bears’ surprise starters

Trevathan, a 10-year veteran, was one of four projected first-team defensive players who started the game.

Bears inside linebacker Danny Trevathan intercepted a pass against the Titans.
AP Photos

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Danny Trevathan, the most overqualified person to participate in Saturday’s exhibition finale, finished his brief stint on the field by hitting the bench. The Bears inside linebacker intercepted Titans quarterback Matt Barkley halfway through the first quarter. After undercutting Barkley’s throw at the Bears’ 7, he ran up the right sideline for 24 yards. As he ran out of bounds along the Titans’ sideline, he was shoved, ice-skated across the baby blue tarp and sat down on the Titans bench.

Trevathan, a 10-year veteran, was one of four projected first-team defensive players who started the game. Nose tackle Eddie Goldman started, too; like Trevathan, he hadn’t appeared in a preseason game before Saturday. Both came out late in the first quarter.

Cornerbacks Duke Shelley and Kindle Vildor started, too; Shelley could be the starting slot cornerback, while Vildor is competing with veteran Desmond Trufant for the spot opposite Jaylon Johnson. Trufant, who had missed time following the death of his father, did not play.

The Bears played five starters on offense: the members of the offensive line, who played together for the first time this preseason. Receiver Damiere Byrd, who has made the team, returned a punt for the first time this exhibition season but did not play on offense.

Backups who appear to have made the team include tight end Jesse James, receiver Marquise Goodwin and inside linebacker Alec Ogletree. They didn’t play Saturday.

No Vrabel

Mike Vrabel didn’t coach the Titans on Saturday, five days after he tested positive for the coronavirus. Special teams coach Craig Aukerman took Vrabel’s place and was in charge of player communication while football development coordinator John Streicher advised the team on playing time and game decisions.

The Titans have been overwhelmed by the coronavirus this week. Saturday, receiver Racey McMath became the seventh Titans player on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Twelve players and coaches missed time this week because of the coronavirus.

Pick six

Halfway through the second quarter, outside linebacker Trevis Gipson hit Titans quarterback Logan Woodside as he threw. The ball fluttered out to Woodside’s left — and into the arms of Bears cornerback Tre Roberson, who returned the pass 27 yards for a touchdown.

Roberson, the Illinois State quarterback-turned-CFL-cornerback, is a practice squad candidate.