The first full weekend of NFL Preseason games featured strong performances from several different former Mountaineers. Darius Reynaud stole the show in the Titans’ opener against Bruce Irvin and the Seahawks. Ellis Lankster led the Jets defense. Najee Goode and Keith Tandy showed well in their debuts with the Bucs with Tandy looking sharp at times in coverage.
We will update you throughout the week about these players. In this article, we tell give you some good news and some potentially bad news about a couple of former Mountaineers.
Last Thursday night, J.T. Thomas led the Bears defense against the Broncos. Yes, he led the team in tackles with 7, but he was also a disruptive force. He put pressure on the quarterback and burst through the line of scrimmage on a few occasions causing the running back to have to change direction.
Linebackers Brian Urlacher (injury) and Geno Hayes (illness) missed practice on Monday. The Bears switched Nick Roach to middle linebacker in place of Urlacher and Thomas took his place as the first-string strongside linebacker.
“I got some good reps and learned a lot today,” Thomas said. “It’s great to get some time against the first-team offense because we have a really good offense. Being beside Nick [Roach] and Lance Briggs, there are a lot of things they can teach me.
“Sometimes in the NFL the cards get shuffled up and you have to be ready to play. All I can do is come out, be as ready as I can, and take advantage of any situation that’s given.”
The Bears play the Redskins on Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Speaking of the Redskins, it is unclear whether Chris Neild will play in that game. He injured his knee in Redskins practice on Monday and did not return. Head coach Mike Shanahan confirmed Neild will undergo an MRI.