Briggs: D.J. Williams is Bears’ starting MLB and that’s that
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter September 5, 2013 8:31PM
This is a 2013 photo of D.J Williams of the Chicago Bears NFL football team. This image reflects the Chicago Bears active roster as of Monday, June 10, 2013 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)
Updated: October 7, 2013 1:30PM
Lance Briggs called D.J. Williams the Bears’ starting middle linebacker Thursday, even though coach Marc Trestman said the team will ‘‘wait another day’’ to see whether they prefer the veteran to rookie Jon Bostic for Sunday’s regular-season opener.
Williams practiced Monday for the first time since injuring his calf July 31.
‘‘Let’s clarify this,’’ Briggs, the Bears’ veteran weak-side linebacker, said Thursday after practice at Halas Hall. ‘‘When we opened camp, D.J. Williams was our starting middle linebacker. . . . D.J. Williams got injured, which in turn gave an opportunity for Jon Bostic to not only showcase his skills but to learn. He got a chance to run with the ones.
‘‘Now D.J. Williams is back from injury, and D.J. Williams is our starting [middle linebacker].
Briggs said Bostic ‘‘made a good name for himself in the preseason’’ and ‘‘whether he’s ready or he’s not ready, he doesn’t have to be right now.’’
Williams should be able to play despite missing most of the preseason, Briggs said. Both Briggs and Brian Urlacher did the same during their Bears careers.
Briggs said he feels comfortable calling plays with Urlacher retired.
‘‘We don’t have time for me to not get the play out,’’ he said.
And the unit is communicating well.
‘‘With Brian gone, the onus of that kind of falls on everybody,’’ he said.
Bennett decision close
Trestman will wait another day to decide if wide receiver Earl Bennett, who returned this week from concussion symptoms, makes Sunday’s active roster.
‘‘My plans are to play this weekend,” Bennett said. ‘‘We’re on course right now.’’
The Bears listed no players Thursday on their injury report. The Cincinnati Bengals had three who did not participate in practice: cornerback Brandon Ghee (concussion), guard Mike Pollak (knee) and tackle Andrew Whitworth (knee).
The day the NFL sent a memo warning teams that rules prohibit faking injuries, Briggs gave a sarcastic, half-joking response when asked about Urlacher’s claim that the Bears used the tactic to slow past-paced offenses.
‘‘It’s crazy because I was like thinking, ‘Man, I remember that. I was that guy,’ ” he said to a room of laughs. ‘‘I remember I’d forget. I couldn’t remember what the signal was because every game, I was like, ‘Ah, I’m the dive guy. But what was the signal?’ I never did the dive because I forgot the signal every game.’’