Bears update: Jaquan Brisker expected to start vs. Packers

The second-year safety missed four weeks of training camp and the entire preseason with an undisclosed injury. “Today’s a big day,” coach Matt Eberflus said Wednesday. “But he’s looked good up to this point.”

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Bears safety Jaquan Brisker (9) started 15 games as a rookie last season.

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Bears coach Matt Eberflus said he expects safety Jaquan Brisker to play in the season opener against the Packers on Sunday at Soldier Field. Brisker missed four weeks of training camp and did not play in the preseason because of groin injury. He returned to practice last week.

Eberflus said Brisker’s play in a padded practice Wednesday would go a long way toward determining his status for Sunday. But he’s been encouraged since Brisker returned last week. The key factors are Brisker’s “execution” and “speed.”

“Today’s a big day,” Eberflus said. “ But he’s looked good up to this point so we’re excited about it.”

Brisker was one of four players on the first injury report of the season Wednesday. Safety Eddie Jackson (ankle) and defensive end DeMarcus Walker (calf) also were limited. Reserve linebacker Dylan Cole (hamstring) did not practice.

After being without several starters throughout most of training camp and the preseason — 12 or more towards the end — the Bears are in pretty good shape heading into Week 1. Starting left guard Teven Jenkins is on injured reserve with a leg injury, but is expected to return after missing the first four games.

Besides Brisker, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, defensive ends Yannick Ngakoue and Walker and Jackson missed significant time in camp. Eberflus acknowledged that presents an unknown factor in Week 1.

Yeah, I would say that, but you have guys that have experience,” Eberflus said. “Even with our safeties [Jackson and Brisker], they played together all of last year. So I feel really good about that. With the line [Ngakoue, Walker and tackles Justin Jones and Andrew Billings], those guys all have experience. It’s just working together. The continuity piece of it, and we’re going to work on that this week.”

On the No. 2 quarterback front, Eberflus said he is “leaning” toward having veteran Nathan Peterman back up quarterback Justin Fields against the Packers on Sunday at Soldier Field, though reserved the right to change his mind and go with undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent.

“That’s what we’re looking at right now,” Eberflus said of Peterman being the No. 2. “We haven’t made a final decision, but that’s where we’re leaning to now for this first game. But we’ll see where it goes during the week and we certainly reserve the right to make any adjustments as we need to.”

Bagent, a long shot from Division-II Shepherd University, made the 53-man roster after an impressive performance in training camp and the preseason. But while they like Bagent as a project, playing him in a mid-game situation in the NFL could be a risky proposition. Peterman has been in the NFL for five seasons and has started five games (he’s 1-4).

Peterman was listed as the No. 2 quarterback on the team’s initial depth chart for Week 1, with Bagent No. 3. But that’s a fluid situation.

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