Leatherwood-Reiff platoon shows Bears looking to future originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
LAKE FOREST, Ill. — For most of the Bears’ season, Alex Leatherwood has gone about his business in the background, slowly learning the system during the week while being inactive on Sundays.
But the Bears claimed Leatherwood and his contract prior to Week 1 for a reason. They believe in his talent and think he could be one of the future pieces of their offensive line.
After an early-season bout with mononucleosis, Leatherwood has finally reached a point where the Bears feel like he is ready to contribute on Sundays and show them if their initial evaluation of him is correct.
Leatherwood made his debut for the Bears in Week 13, playing 10 snaps in the 28-19 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The Bears plan to have a platoon at right tackle with Leatherwood and Riley Reiff during the final month of the season. It’s unclear how the situation will change when Larry Borom returns from a knee injury.
“I’m extremely interested to see where he can go,” offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said of Leatherwood on Thursday. “He’s a guy who got here and had a slow start and then gets sick. But now we’ve seen him get better each and every week so the opportunities will continue to grow for him.”
While Leatherwood only played 10 snaps in Week 13, the Bears liked what they saw. The 2021 first-round pick held up well on the outside, including stonewalling an edge rusher to allow quarterback Justin Fields time to deliver a 56-yard strike to Equanimeous St. Brown.
“It was great. Alex played well.” head coach Matt Eberflus said. “Overall, really nice performance by him. It doesn’t surprise us. We were anxious to get him in there and see how he would do. But it doesn’t surprise us because he’s had great maturation in the system, working inside and outside.”
Eberflus and his staff have been consistent in their message that they will continue to do what gives the Bears the best chance to…