OPINION: What to watch for: Bills at Bears preseason

Some important players to watch in the Bills' second preseason game

The Buffalo Bills take on the Chicago Bears this Saturday afternoon for their second preseason game of 2021.

Here are four things I’ll be watching closely:

1.) Mitchell Trubisky against his former team

I’ve been hoping this will be the case for a while, and then Bills head coach Sean McDermott cemented it on Thursday when he said Josh Allen will not play and Trubisky will get to start against his former team.

The Bears selected Trubisky second overall in 2017, eight spots ahead of Patrick Mahomes and 10 ahead of Deshaun Watson. After four years, a winning record, and two playoff appearances, the Bears decided to decline his fifth-year option and even let him walk in free agency.

Trubisky signed with a Bills this offseason looking to restart his career. Now, he gets a chance to do that in the stadium he called home for the past four seasons, against the team that decided he wasn’t good enough.

I don’t care if it’s the preseason, I’m interested and excited to see how he performs in that environment and situation.

2.) Bills defense vs. Justin Fields

The man who has been tabbed to replace Trubisky at quarterback, even if he doesn’t wind up starting right away over Andy Dalton, is Fields.

The rookie looked really good last week in his preseason debut against the Miami Dolphins, completing 14-of-20 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown. He also ran five times for 33 yards and another touchdown.

His ability to keep plays alive was on full display. Although they won’t be game-planning specifically for him, because it’s a preseason game and most of the starters aren’t expected to play.

It’s still going to be fun and interesting to watch the Bills defense try to stop him, and see if Fields has the same success.

3.) Zack Moss

For all of the talk about “running back by committee” or “running back by gameplan,” as I have termed it, there appears to be some separation right now between Devin Singletary and then the rest of the Bills backs. That’s partly due to both Zack Moss and Antonio Williams being injured.

But Moss returned to practice this week and is going to play Saturday. If he wants to show he can be a bigger part of the offense earlier rather than later in the season, and even still challenge to be the main back, his time and chances are dwindling.

4.) Third safety

Unfortunately, Jaquan Johnson has been injured and hasn’t practiced this week, so that doesn’t look good for his chances to play in this game and build on a strong performance against the Detroit Lions last week.

Johnson is battling for the third safety position, backing up starters Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, along with Josh Thomas and rookie Damar Hamlin, who have also played really well. The battle for this spot will most likely go through the final preseason game, but the game against the Bears on Saturday is going to be a big one for coaches to evaluate.

Follow me on Twitter: @SalSports

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