One of the biggest stories of Chicago Bears training camp has to be Braxton Jones ascending to play the starting role at left tackle.
The fifth-round rookie out of Southern Utah has continued to impress his coaches as Chicago tries to figure out just who will be among their starting five for 2022.
The offensive line is perhaps the biggest question mark for the Bears, with most positions up for grabs given a recent injury to newly arrived veteran center Lucas Patrick. Sam Mustipher, who played center for the Bears last year, has been splitting reps there with rookie Doug Kramer. Cody Whitehair seems to be the only lock, playing left guard. The team signed veterans Michael Schofield and Riley Reiff in the last week. Schofield has been working the majority of snaps at right guard, rotating with Ja'tyre Carter, while Reiff, though initially seeing a few snaps at left tackle with Jones as he ramped up into practice, has now been exclusively switching off with Larry Borom at right tackle.
Though a rookie, Braxton Jones anchors well, seems to know his leverage and has a powerful 6-foot-5, 310-pound frame. Reports out of Bears camp on Wednesday said he took a majority of his reps going against edge rushers Robert Quinn and Al-Quadin Muhammad
"It was good for me to get away a little bit, just to get away and see the game and the playbook, just getting install one, two and three down like really solid," said Jones, a fifth-round draft pick from Southern Utah.
He went on to talk about his role.
"Every day, I continue to learn and compete," Jones said. "That's the biggest thing. Just because I'm running with the ones doesn't mean anything changes. That might change up who's in front of me, but that doesn't matter. For me, it's still the same. I go full speed. I'm trying to work on my tight hands. I'm trying to get better every day.
"It's a bigger role in the sense of the ones. But for me, I'm still focused on the same things. My mindset is still the same, and that's to get better."