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Chicago - The natural progression of the preseason is to get starters more time in games two and three, which is what head coach Lovie Smith has planned, as the Bears host the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday.

"Guys No. 1 on the starting rotation, we plan on playing them a couple quarters," Smith said Thursday. "That's with everyone."

Due to an extended scoring drive against the St. Louis Rams, Rex Grossman and the majority of the string offense only had one series.

However Jonathan Quinn missed practice Thursday night at Soldier Field. The backup quarterback has been bothered been a sore left shoulder, but is still expected to play.

"Sore shoulders ... I'm pretty sore right now, too," Smith said. "That's what happens in training camp. And that's pretty much what it is, but he'll be fine."

According to Smith the majority of the players that have missed time with injuries other than hamstrings are expected to play, including Alex Brown. The Bears recently decided to move Brown from left to right end, but he hasn't been able to practice at his new position because of a strained calf muscle.

The Bears have had a lot of turnover since last season and several players had never been inside Soldier Field until Thursday.

"We wanted to get down to Soldier Field to get a chance to see what it's like to play here at night," Smith said.

The Bears went 6-2 in the stadium last year and need a similar home field advantage this season.

"A lot of people haven't been in here who are playing on the team now, so we got a chance to look around and get comfortable again and get ready for Saturday," Grossman added.

Despite a lack of crowd noise in a virtually empty Soldier Field, Grossman had trouble keeping his excitement in check.

"I think just walking out here gives you goose bumps," quarterback Rex Grossman said. "And you're ready for the season to start and everything else."

Keep the hankies out of play: The Bears had 19 penalties against the Rams, ten of which went against the offensive line. The unit will need to improve their performance or the massive shuffling on the o-line will continue until some semblance of consistency can be established.

"There should be a big improvement from game one to two, which we're expecting," Smith said. "Hopefully not just the offensive line, we had a lot of penalties in a lot of places."

Time to make an impression: Rosters don't have to be trimmed to 65 until Aug. 31 with the final cut down to 53 coming on Sept. 5th. Meaning players competing for a starting role or those on the bubble have three preseason games to make a lasting impression.

"We're still trying to put the 53-man squad together and get them in game situations and see if guys will start to separate themselves a little bit," Smith said.

Door is closing: While Qasim Mitchell hasn't locked down the starting left tackle spot, it appears the position is still his to lose.

"Q Mitchell is number one right now and we like his progress that he's making," Smith said. "Of course, he had a few penalties last week, hopefully he'll take care of some of those things this week."


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