Bears’ Matt Eberflus: All but 1 hurt starter on pace to face Packers

The Bears expect all but one starter to be healthy enough to take on their rivals in Week 1, head coach Matt Eberflus said Tuesday.

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Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus stands on the sidelines during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills in a preseason game at Soldier Field on Saturday.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Bears head coach Matt Eberflus expects all but one starter to be healthy enough to face the Packers in Week 1.

Guard Teven Jenkins, who has a walking boot on his right foot, remains “week-to-week,” Eberflus said Tuesday. Everyone else is on pace to be cleared by the Sept. 10 opener.

Eberflus claims the Bears rank in the middle of the league in terms of preseason injuries, but the list of players who have missed practices due to injuries is long: safeties Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker; edge rusher DeMarcus Walker; receiver Chase Claypool; center Cody Whitehair; guard Nate Davis; and right tackle Darnell Wright, the Bears’ first-round pick this season.

Davis, who has started and finished two padded practices all camp, should be ready. But Eberflus, who coached against him in the AFC South from 2018-21, admitted it was a matter of faith.

“I know what kind of player he is,” he said. “I’ve seen what kind of player he is, the intensity he brings to the line. When he’s been in, he’s looked great. He’s been in there looking good on his pass sets, his jumps to the second level in the run game. …

“The process will take care of itself, and he’ll be ready to go. My past experiences with him, he’s our kind of guy.”

Claypool hurt his hamstring during practice earlier this month. Wright has a right ankle issue.

Backup center/guard Lucas Patrick, who could start with Jenkins out, has practiced once since Aug. 6.

Middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue made their Bears debuts in Saturday’s exhibition finale.

The Bears don’t have to release their first injury report until Sept. 6.

Leatherwood didn’t ‘work out’

Eberflus offered few specifics about why the Bears waived former Raiders first-round pick Alex Leatherwood on Sunday, other than to say he was disappointed his yearlong stint wasn’t more productive. Leatherwood went unclaimed on waivers.

“As a head coach, as a GM, when we pick a guy or bring a guy in — whatever that might be, acquire a guy — we’re always very hopeful that it works out, and we’re disappointed when it doesn’t,” Eberflus said. “And it’s really a part of everybody. It wasn’t in the cards for him and for us at this time. And it’s unfortunate, and we’re disappointed.”

This and that

The Bears traded a sixth-round pick to the Dolphins for guard Dan Feeney because they liked his versatility to play guard and center, Eberflus said. The Carl Sandburg High School alum has played 2,596 career snaps at left guard, 1,412 at center and 125 at right guard.

“You’ve got an inside guy, a guy you feel can play all spots and back up and be a good starter there,” he said.

• Bears chairman George McCaskey and president/CEO Kevin Warren visited former defensive tackle Steve McMichael at his home Tuesday. McMichael, who has ALS, is one of three senior finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and is expected to make the Hall in a January vote. The Bears are expected to pay tribute to McMichael, who is confined to his home, at their season opener against the Packers.

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