Bears’ starters will play 15-20 snaps in preseason opener

The Bears are planning to play their starters for 15 to 20 snaps in the preseason opener.

Bears coach Matt Eberflus, who is in his first year as a head coach and hasn’t had to make that decision in the preseason before, said today that his plan is for the starters to play 15 to 20 snaps for Saturday’s home game against the Chiefs.

Eberflus did not specifically say that every starter will play, and one who almost certainly won’t is linebacker Roquan Smith, who is declining to practice as he seeks a trade to a team that will give him a lucrative contract extension.

The player Bears fans will want to keep the closest eye on is quarterback Justin Fields, who is coming off a disappointing rookie year and will, the Bears hope, start to show some progress toward a big step forward in Year Two.