After performing admirably last season at guard, the Chicago Bears' Josh Beekman has now seemingly been reduced to a reserve as Frank Omiyale has been moved into the starting lineup for the upcoming game against the New York Giants and their stellar defensive line.
This comes as a bit of a surprise, at least in terms of timing, since Beekman had held the starter's spot all of training camp and in the first preseason game.
By most accounts, Beekman played just as well as Omiyale, if not better, through most drills at training camp in Bourbonnais.
When Omiyale was signed in the offseason, most predicted he would be the starting guard for the team. However, no one expected Beekman to put up such a strong case for himself.
If Omiyale holds his own against one of the top, if not the best, defensive line in football, you can consider that battle over.
So then, it would be on the line (from left to right): Pace, Omiyale, Kreutz, Garza, Williams.
All five players, assuming Omiyale doesn't bomb out against the G-Men, are set.
Cutler, Forte, and Olsen are all set, as are Hester and Earl Bennett as the starting receivers. Jason McKie will more than likely be holding on to the starting fullback position, although it will be interesting to see how Michael Gaines fits in there.
Defensively, there are only three real battles for starting spots going on:
Between what appears to be Anthony Adams and Marcus Harrison, although it also could include Dusty Dvoracek if he steps his game up.
Pisa Tinoisamoa and Jamar Williams. I honestly think this is a mere formality because I don't see a scenario involving Pisa not starting unless it is due to an injury.
It's a mess. End of story.
With the key special team players pretty much set, there are no other starting spots on the line. So then we start watching the roster battles.
For that, there are two key dates:
Sept. 1: Rosters must be cut down to 75 players
Sept. 5: Rosters must be cut down to the final 53 players.
This will be interesting.