An injury to Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul will deprive Chicago Bears coaches of seeing how both of their left tackles would perform against the Giants' starter in Friday's game at New Jersey, but facing Osi Umenyiora will also be a good test.
"They still have a good player," Bears coach Lovie Smith said Wednesday. "When one goes down, another steps up. So I don't think that will really affect too much. When you evaluate guys, if they're both playing against the same guy, you can get a good evaluation and that's what we'll do."
J'Marcus Webb will get the start, but Chris Williams will also play against Giants starters -- presumably Umenyiora -- in what likely will be the final input coaches use to determine the opening-day starter at left tackle. Smith said competition will go through the fourth preseason game, but coaches say that starters are already determined by then. They usually only play a series or two in the final preseason game. Webb apparently leads as he has drawn the third preseason game start.
Grizzled veteran: It doesn't take long for a Bears safety to become a wise, old veteran. Four years did it for backup safety Craig Steltz. "Everybody kind of looks up to him because he’s been in this defense for so many years," safety Major Wright said.
Steltz will start at free safety alongside Wright against the Giants due to injuries to free safeties Chris Conte and Brandon Hardin.
Trial by punting: Undrafted rookie free-agent punter Ryan Quigley will get his big chance against the Giants, and because of Adam Podlesh's hip-flexor injury, he could be active for the opener. "He's been around here a while and he's had some good punts," coach Lovie Smith said. "But you want to see a guy in a game situation as much as anything."
Still out: Tight end Matt Spaeth missed every practice this week with a leg injury and is unlikely to play against the Giants. His absence throws a whole new light on the tight end-fullback roster battle. The battle for two roster spots looked to be among three players: Kyle Adams, Tyler Clutts and Evan Rodriguez. But Adams has been impressive, and Rodriguez had a good game last week. Spaeth, however, is the team's best blocking tight end, so that may keep him from being in any type of job jeopardy.
Mending: Safety Brandon Hardin has been at Halas Hall all week after being released from the hospital following his neck injury. Hardin was spotted Wednesday wearing a neck brace.
Neon D.J.: Nickel back D.J. Moore has donned bright orange shoes for practice, and he gave some to fellow defensive backs. "Don't nobody have more flavor than the DBs," Moore said. "You've got to have a lot of confidence to play defensive back."
WR Earl Bennett tried wearing something similar in games last year but was fined by the league twice.
"Nothing meets the NFL's requirements," Moore said. "So you just wear them to practice and walk-throughs."
Follow Bears reporter Gene Chamberlain on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLCHI.