BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) -Kyle Orton will start at quarterback for the Chicago Bears behind an injury-riddled offensive line in Thursday's preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Coach Lovie Smith announced his decision after Tuesday night's practice, but cautioned against calling Orton the leader in his competition with Rex Grossman to start on opening day.
``Again, don't look into any of these decisions we've made right now,'' Smith said. ``It's just a starting spot. There's no rhyme or reason why we're doing this in this direction. It's the way I want to go right now.''
Grossman will take the same number of snaps with the first string as Orton, Smith said.
When the Bears play the second preseason game in Seattle Aug. 16, Grossman will start, with he and Orton getting the same number of first-string snaps again.
``We want both guys to get an equal opportunity and that's what were going to do,'' Smith said.
Grossman and Orton have alternated days working with the first team throughout training camp. They flipped a coin to see who would go first with the first team before minicamp and training camp.
Coaches made the decision this time.
``No coin flip, we didn't want to do that again - no rock, paper, scissors,'' said offensive coordinator Ron Turner.
Orton, who started the final three games last season, realizes a lot is at stake, considering it's only preseason.
``I'm excited. I wanted to get out there and start out the preseason,'' he said. ``It's (the battle) certainly intensified in the preseason games. There's a lot riding on it. But the reality remains it's just one more chance to get better.''
Orton and Grossman will work with an offensive line that could include only two projected opening day starters at their positions - right tackle John Tait and center Olin Kreutz.
Left guard Terrence Metcalf has a sprained right knee and will have arthroscopic surgery. It's expected he'll miss two to four weeks.
His replacement in practice has been second-year player Josh Beekman, but Smith said it's possible Anthony Oakley could start at right guard, with regular starting right guard Roberto Garza moving over to left guard.

Recent NFL Discussions

2017 Heisman Odds on Wed, Mar 2017 by Blade
College / NBA today on Sun, Mar 2017 by TtomBoBadly
SNOW on Tue, Mar 2017 by Michael Cash
EARLY COLL PLAYS FOR WED. on Wed, Mar 2017 by Timmy1961

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail DeSean Jackson Bucs Prop Odds How many touchdowns will DeSean Jackson post with his new team in 2017? Here's a look at the odds.
Thumbnail Brandin Cooks Patriots Prop Odds How many total receiving yards will new Patriot Brandin Cooks have in 2017?
Thumbnail Alshon Jeffery TD Prop Odds How many touchdown passes and receiving yards will Alshon Jeffery rack up in 2017? Oddsmakers have released projections for the newest Eagle.
Thumbnail Brandon Marshall 2017 Prop Odds How many touchdowns and receiving yards will new Giant Brandon Marshall compile in 2017? Here's a look at the odds.
Thumbnail Pats land Cooks, remain SB favorites The Patriots remain favored to win Super Bowl LII following their blockbuster trade with the Saints for receiver Brandin Cooks.

NFL Team Pages