LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- D.J. Williams practiced Monday for the first time since July 31, leading to questions about whether he’ll be starting at middle linebacker over rookie Jon Bostic, who has manned the post throughout the entire preseason.
The team isn’t ready to make an announcement.
“We’ll see where the rest of the week goes and make a decision, accordingly, based on Wednesday and Thursday’s practices to see where [Williams is] and the type of condition he’s in, and the velocity of his reps,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said.
Bostic started each of the first three preseason games in Williams’ absence and performed well enough to garner mention as the potential long-term starter. But it’s difficult to discount Williams’ pedigree and production. After all, Williams has posted five 100-tackle seasons to go with 20.5 sacks, two interceptions and seven fumble recoveries throughout his career.
Bostic said the team has been mum on how the competition at middle linebacker has progressed.
“This is my first time preparing for a real game. They’ve told me all along the preseason is one speed, but the regular season is another speed,” Bostic said. “So I’m really just figuring out how to prepare for [a real game]. Really, I have no idea [when the team will announce the starter]. I’m just looking at it as doing whatever they ask me. If they ask me to play in every snap, play two snaps, [or] special teams, really [I’ll just do] whatever they ask me.”
Bears general manager Phil Emery said he doesn’t have a preference between Bostic and Williams, because for him, it’s all about “the player that is making the plays; the player that is doing the best.”
“Whoever is playing better whatever the given opportunity is, they’ll have earned their way to the [starter’s job]. If that’s Bostic, great. If that’s Williams, great. We have no preferences in this building. It’s about putting the best players on the field, and the most productive.”