Khaseem Greene has chance to join Jon Bostic on the field
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter October 27, 2013 9:14PM
Cleveland Browns v Chicago Bears
Updated: October 28, 2013 12:00AM
Jon Bostic might not be the only rookie starting at linebacker for the Bears next Monday night against the Green Bay Packers. Thanks to the bye week, Khaseem Greene has more time to usurp Blake Costanzo.
Both played against the Washington Redskins on Oct. 20 after Lance Briggs fractured his shoulder. But Greene only played when Costanzo briefly left with cramps.
With Briggs out up to six weeks and D.J. Williams lost for the season with a torn pectoral tendon, the Bears have looked at free-agent linebackers and might sign one for depth. But their best options are already on the roster, and Greene, a star at Rutgers, is next in line.
“Khaseem has worked almost exclusively as Lance’s backup as a weak-backer,” general manager Phil Emery said. “So moving him over to Sam [linebacker] during the course of the week, we just didn’t feel like he was ready to go [against the Redskins]. In terms of who will be out on the field against the Green Bay Packers, it’ll be whoever practices the best and presents the best option for the Chicago Bears to win football games.
“But [Greene’s] a guy with a good future. He’s worked extremely hard. If you remember when he came into camp, he was just a little bit heavy. And he’s taken all that off of him. He studies, he works hard at the game. There’s been only positives with Khaseem, and when he’s ready to play, he’ll be out on the field.”
The Bears considered themselves lucky that Greene was available in the fourth round and view him as a future starter. But starting two rookies at linebacker is an unenviable position. Despite being valued for his special-teams skills, Costanzo has more experience.
“Whatever’s asked of me, I’m going to go out there and give all I’ve got,” Costanzo said. “That’s all I can do for right now.”
Either way, both know there’s no replacing Briggs.
“He’s the best linebacker in the league, if you ask me, by far, and just him being out there, his play-making ability, just everything about him, we’re going to miss,” Costanzo said.