LAKE FOREST, Ill. — While some people look at it when first released in the preseason, the depth chart gets a lot more attention before the start of the regular season.
That moment came on Tuesday for the Bears, when they announced their initial lineup for their first contest of 2023.
With the roster now set, the Bears put out their depth chart ahead of their Week 1 game against the Packers at Soldier Field on Sunday at 3:25 p.m.. There were a number of starting positions that were already set, but there were a few questions answered with the release on Tuesday.
- Lucas Patrick is listed as the team’s starting center as he enters his second season with the Bears. Cody Whitehair, who figured to be a candidate for the top spot at center, is the team’s left guard, where he spent most of the 2022 season. He has been wearing a splint on his pinky finger on his snapping hand but Whitehair said during a news conference Monday it was to prevent long-term damage.
- Nathan Peterman will start the season as the Bears’ backup quarterback after he was initially among the final round of cuts for the team. He re-signed soon after and now will be behind starter Justin Fields to begin the 2023 season. Tyson Bagent, whose inclusion on the 53-man roster was one of the stories of training camp, will be the third-string quarterback.
- Trent Taylor, who was signed by the Bears after the preseason, is going to handle the punt returning duties to start the season. Velus Jones Jr. and Tyler Scott are listed as his backups.
- Jones will handle the kick returning duties.
This will be the second year of the general manager Ryan Poles, head coach Matt Eberflus era as the team hopes to take another step forward after an NFL-worst 3-14 last season.