Roquan Smith debut: Bears rookie LB posts sack on first NFL snap
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GREEN BAY, Wis. — After a long wait, Bears rookie linebacker Roquan Smith showed he sure knew how to make an entrance Sunday.
Smith notched a sack on his first NFL snap, blowing past Packers running back Ty Montgomery, who was pass-blocking, and bringing down backup quarterback DeShone Kizer with a little more than a minute left in the first half.
The sack came after Kizer rolled away from edge rusher Khalil Mack, who dominated the line of scrimmage. Smith’s sack set the Packers back nine yards.
Smith, the No. 8 pick in the draft in April, didn’t start against the Packers and entered the game only because starting inside linebacker Danny Trevathan left with an injury.
Smith didn’t play a snap in the preseason. He sat out the first 29 days of training camp after he and his representatives engaged in a contract standoff over financial protections given him in case of on-field violations.
Smith felt tightness in his hamstring during his second practice back Aug. 16 in Denver. He didn’t practice in full again until Wednesday.
Receiver Allen Robinson made his first in-game catch in 364 days, a 33-yard corner route against rookie Jaire Alexander late in the first quarter that put the ball at the Packers’ 33. Two plays later, he caught a 13-yard pass rifled by quarterback Mitch Trubisky over the middle on third-and-four.
Robinson didn’t have a preseason catch after signing a three-year, $42 million deal as a free agent. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the Jaguars’ 2017 season opener.
He finished the first half with three catches for 49 yards.
Pace: Goldman worth it
General manager Ryan Pace told the team’s pregame show on WBBM-AM (780) that nose tackle Eddie Goldman is ‘‘still getting better.’’ The Bears gave Goldman a four-year, $42 million deal with $25 million guaranteed Friday.
‘‘A lot of times you look at these nose tackles around the league, and they’re just run-stuffers,’’ Pace said. ‘‘Eddie can rush the passer, too, so Eddie can stay on the field for all three downs, and he’s a productive player for us.’’
This and that
Outside linebacker Aaron Lynch, who didn’t play a snap in the preseason, started in place of Mack, who eventually played — and dominated.
• Three 2018 draft picks were among the seven players the Bears made inactive before the game. They were defensive lineman Bilal Nichols, a fifth-round pick; outside linebacker Kylie Fitts, a sixth-rounder; and receiver Javon Wims, a seventh-rounder.
• Tight end Daniel Brown (shoulder) and defensive back DeAndre Houston-Carson (broken forearm) were inactive because of injuries, and offensive lineman Rashaad Coward and cornerback Kevin Toliver were healthy scratches.