The Bills will make the trip from The Queen City to The Windy City to face off against the Bears in week one of the 2011 NFL preseason schedule on Saturday night. The Bills will try to improve their 2-11-1 preseason record against the Bears as starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick attempts to lead last years No. 28 ranked scoring offense past the Bears defense. Debuting as a member of the Bills will be linebacker Shawne Merriman, who was claimed off waivers from the San Diego Chargers in November of last year but has yet to see the field with his new team. Third overall pick from the 2011 draft, Marcell Dareus, will also make his professional debut as a member of the Bills defensive line. This could also be the final game in which Lee Evans suits up as a member of the Buffalo Bills as ESPN's Adam Schefter says a trade involving Evans could happen later this week. Evans has played for the Bills since 2004.
The Bears will be taking the field for the first time since their quarterback, Jay Cutler, was "controversially" knocked out of the NFC Championship game. He'll be taking the field behind a rebuilt offensive line that allowed a league-high 56 sacks in 2010. First-round draft pick Gabe Carimi will be the starting right tackle, J'Marcus Webb will be the new left tackle and Roberto Garza was moved from guard to center to replace Olin Kreutz, who was let go after 13 seasons with the team. Running back Matt Forte will have some competition in the back field as he'll be joined by former Cowboy halfback Marion Barber. The Bears leading receiver in 2010, Johnny Knox, will also have a thing or two to prove in Saturday night's game. He's officially listed as the team's second-string wide receiver behind recently acquired free agent Roy Williams. Rumor has it that he's fallen out of favor with second-year offensive coordinator Mike Martz and could find himself on the trading block.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, August 13; 7 p.m. CST (8 p.m. ET)
Location: Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
Buffalo: WKBW 7 (ABC)
Chicago: WFLD FOX Chicago
TV Distribution Map: The506.com