Khalil Mack will practice for the first time in 2018 on Monday, and the Chicago Bears are hopeful their new linebacker is ready for primetime.
The Bears plan on playing Mack in some capacity at Lambeau Field next Sunday night in the regular season opener against the Green Bay Packers.
Head coach Matt Nagy said Sunday, one day after Mack was acquired from the Oakland Raiders and signed to a $141 million contract, of the chances Mack is on the field in seven days: “Hopefully, pretty good. We’ve got to be smart, because the last thing you want to do is throw him out there and he gets hurt and we lose him for some time. We want to be aggressive with that, but smart.”
General manager Ryan Pace said at Mack’s introductory press conference with the team Sunday there was no hesitation when he learned the two-time All-Pro pass rusher might be on the trade block.
“When a guy like this becomes available in the prime of his career, you have to be aggressive. I am proud that I work for an organization that allows me to do that,” Pace said.
The Bears parted with two first-round picks and four total draft picks for Mack and a second-round selection in 2020.
“When we look at this next draft, our first-round pick is Khalil Mack. Our second-round pick is (rookie wide receiver) Anthony Miller. We’ll take that,” Pace said.
Mack called the Raiders a great organization. While many are questioning the decision to sell of Mack, one of the team’s core players, Mack said the biggest draw to playing in Chicago was “to be wanted, that’s all it takes.”
“This team wants to win championships,” he continued. “That’s definitely the goal.”
Mack, selected by Oakland with the fifth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, has 40.5 sacks in four NFL seasons while starting all 64 games. He had 10.5 sacks last season.
—Field Level Media