There used to be this old unwritten rule in sports as a whole, and football in particular, that stated a player won’t and can’t lose their starting position due to injury. Well, that was a long time ago. Since Tom Brady ascended into the starting quarterback role for the New England Patriots over the injured Drew Bledsoe, life for injured starters has not been easy.
With that in mind, the current incarnation of the Chicago Bears linebacking corps has been going through a makeover in which first-year Bears veteran middle linebacker D.J. Williams and second-round pick Jon Bostic are battling for the starting position.
Well, they should be battling for the starting role. However, with Williams sidelined since July 31 with a calf injury, Bostic has been receiving the bulk of the defense’s first-team reps which thus far has given him the edge. With Williams out, the rookie linebacker has taken full advantage of his opportunity and in two preseason games, Bostic has had a penchant for big hits and game-changing plays.
Now the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals is rapidly approaching September 8 and Williams still hasn’t recovered enough to receive repetitions in the days leading up to the regular season opener. Although Bears head coach Marc Trestman has been saying all the right things in the media about the statuss of Williams for the opener, it’s becoming a safer bet that Bostic will make a significant contribution for the Bears organization as the starting middle linebacker opening day.