CHICAGO- Even though linebacker D.J. Williams has progressed in his recovery from a calf injury, he will not be well enough to suit up against the San Diego Chargers at Solider Field tonight. Rookie Jon Bostic will once again get the call to start at middle linebacker. Williams strained his calf muscle back on July 31st and hasn’t worn his helmet and pads since then.
Bostic, the Bears 2013 second round draft pick has been filling in quite nicely in Williams’ absence. It didn’t take long for him to learn the in’s and out’s of the defense, Bostic has shown himself to be a very quick learner and has adapted to the cover-2 quite nicely. His speed, instincts, athletic ability and strength are an even bigger plus. When the 22-year-old took the field in Carolina last week….. He had three total tackles, a pass deflection and a 51-yard interception return which gave the Bears their first touchdown of the night.
The former Florida standout played a total of 26 snaps last week and he could see more against the Chargers tonight. With the starters expected to play at least through the first quarter, Bostic will have more opportunities to make big plays and continue to state his case for being the opening day starter. All D.J. Williams can do is watch until he is cleared to play by the Bears medical staff.
While many believe that Bostic has already won the starting job, the young linebacker and his coaches will tell you different. While it is nice to see what may be Brian Urlacher’s replacement hold his own on the field, it will take the remaining three preseason games to fully decide who will take the job moving forward.
For now, Jon Bostic will make the most of every opportunity that he gets. So far he is on the right track. If he can stay healthy, play at a high level, and continue to show progress, it could be a very long season for D.J. Williams. No. 57 and the rest of the Bears welcome Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers to Solider Field tonight. It must be noted that Chargers rookie linebacker Manti Te’o will not play tonight as he recovering from an injury. But the Bears will get a good look at the rest of San Diego’s starters this evening. Kickoff will be just after 7pm.
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