LAKE FOREST, Ill. — It’s a way to break up the monotony of preseason workouts while also giving the coaching staff a look at their players in a different environment.
One way or the other, the next two days are going to be unique for the Bears.
That’s because the team is taking their practice on the road against a different team, making the short trip to the Indianapolis area for joint workouts with the Colts ahead of their preseason game on Saturday night.
It’s the first time the Bears have held training camp workouts with another team since the Dolphins came to Halas Hall in August 2021 in the final year of the Matt Nagy era. You have to go back even farther the last time the Bears hit the road for joint practices in the preseason.
That was in 2016 when then head coach John Fox had the Bears workout with the Patriots in Foxborough before a preseason game at Gillette Stadium. The year before, they did the same in Indianapolis as they worked out with the Colts who were then coached by Chuck Pagano, who’d later serve as Bears defensive coordinator in 2019 & 2020.
Unlike that time, with the team hosting the workouts at their team headquarters on the west side of Indianapolis, the Colts & Bears will work out 30 miles north of Indianapolis at the Grand Sports Complex in Westfield.
Each practice will start at 6 p.m. Eastern time and then the teams will play at 7 p.m. Eastern/6 p.m. Central at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday.
Head coach Matt Eberflus, who was the defensive coordinator for the Colts before taking the Bears’ job in January 2022, looks forward to the change of pace since the workouts allow the Bears to test the skill sets of different players.
“We want match-ups. We’ll talk to the Colts staff about what match-ups we’re going to get,” said Eberflus. “So we’re both getting what we want to see out of the practices.”