Players to Watch: Bears vs. Falcons

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Aug 19, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Kendall Wright (13) celebrates a touchdown catch with offensive tackle William Poehls (78) and tackle Charles Leno (72) against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 19, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Kendall Wright (13) celebrates a touchdown catch with offensive tackle William Poehls (78) and tackle Charles Leno (72) against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Folks, we’ve done it. We have survived the wasteland known as the offseason and the seemingly endless abyss of the preseason and get to bask in the glory of the 98th season of our beloved Bears football. We’ll probably be disappointed with the entire season by the end of the first quarter against the perennial NFC Champs Atlanta Falcons, but no matter. NFL football is just around the bend and that brings reason to celebrate!

And as in usual fashion, this is your week’s version of players to watch as the Bears face the Falcons.

Danny Trevathan

Trevathan was a centerpiece of the elite Broncos defense for years, and it was a near miracle the Bears were able to land him in the 2015 offseason. He was meant to be the heir to the Urlacher throne that the future Hall of Famer has left wide open since his retirement in 2012.

That didn’t go as planned, however, as Trevathan started in only eight games for the entire season. He had 66 tackles in that span until a torn PCL in Week 13 banished him to IR for the rest of the season. Whether or not he can make a return to form is going to be a massive storyline for this season.

The Bears can cut him with little skin off their back, a move that would result in only 2.5 million in dead cap in 2018. So this means Trevathan’s days could very well be numbered as a Bear if he can’t produce like his original four year, 28 million dollar contract would indicate.

Mike Glennon

Glennon, for now, is the definite starter despite struggling mightily in preseason play. And obviously, whenever there’s a new starting quarterback in town, especially in the quarterback wasteland known as Chicago, the entire league is put on notice.

However, when said quarterback has a rookie breathing down his neck, ready to steal his starting spot at a single mistake’s notice, the interest in his performance sky rockets. Most already believe Trubisky should be the starter. Glennon has been given a chance to prove them wrong and what he does with it is going to be intriguing, to say the least.

Leonard Floyd

Floyd is only here because I don’t think any fan is not excited to see the sophomore pass rusher in action again. The potential for an All-Pro level player is there. He flashed wicked talent throughout his seven sack campaign and it’s really only a matter of time until he takes the next step and turns into one of the most feared defenders in the game.

Here’s to hoping he can.

Cody Whitehair

The second year center is fresh off a superb rookie year seeing him start every single game while being a cornerstone on a Bears line ravaged by injury en route to a spot on the PFWA All-Rookie first team. But this only means the expectations are going to be sky-high for Whitehair.

The Bears offensive line was blasted by the injuries but still managed to lead the second leading rusher in the league Jordan Howard from a season ago. Whitehair was a massive reason this line held strong through weak tackle play and the loss of Pro Bowl regular Kyle Long.

And come on, this kid has future All-Pro written all over him. There is no way any Bears fan can’t be ecstatic to see him dominate again. Whether he takes the step this season or not really doesn’t matter. Barring any unforeseen circumstance, there’s little chance Whitehair isn’t going to be an absolute stud in his career.

Kevin White/Kendall Wright

Boy, where do I start with this one? After breakout wide receiver Cameron Meredith went down with a torn ACL, White and Wright are now the go-to guys for Mike Glennon. Which right off the bat is extremely alarming. Wright has never been a bad receiver, he has just never been real good either. And what is there to say about White that hasn’t been said before? The 2015 seventh overall pick simply needs to start to deliver, being such a high draft pick.

But more importantly, other than Jordan Howard, there is next to nothing exciting on this offense. If this team want any offensive pop, it falls squarely on the shoulders of White and Wright. Sooner or later the rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky is going to start and if this duo can’t deliver, the entire offense is out of luck.

There’s a lot of pressure on this couple going into the year and for good reason. Without them, there is no offense. And against a defense as good as the Falcons’, they are going to be called upon time and time again to make highlight reel plays.

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