Bears will play starters in preseason opener

Matt Eberflus will play his first-teamers, including quarterback Justin Fields, against the Chiefs.

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Bears head coach Matt Eberflus greets fans as he walks to practice Saturday.

Bears head coach Matt Eberflus greets fans as he walks to practice Saturday.

AP Photos

Matt Eberflus will play his starters, including quarterback Justin Fields, in the preseason opener against the Chiefs. The Bears coach said Wednesday that his staff is still working through exactly how many snaps they’ll take Aug. 13 at Soldier Field.

Wednesday marked the first time Eberfus had committed to playing his starters in the preseason. Former head coach Matt Nagy — who will be on the sideline as a Chiefs assistant — vacillated between sitting his starters in the preseason to try to prevent injuries and playing them to prepare them for the season. He leaned in the latter direction last year. 

Eberflus said the experience level of his team might lead to a different tack in the future.

“I think it depends on your team,” he said. “Could it be a different spot in years to come? Yeah it can be.” 

This season, though, the rebuilding Bears need all the snaps they can muster.

“We have to see what they look like when they’re playing in a football game,” he said.

Fields, who tried 49 preseason passes over three games and one start last year, said he sees the value of exhibition play.

“Just reps,” he said. “More reps at it, seeing a different defense — and that’s really the only thing. We practice against our defense every day, so to get to go up against somebody else, that will be good for us, for sure.”

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