LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears rookie linebacker Roquan Smith has been preparing as if he will make his NFL debut on Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs, but says the final decision on his availability will be made by coach Matt Nagy.
"It's up to the coaches," Smith said prior to Tuesday's practice. "Coach Nagy, if he feels like I'm ready then I'll be out there ... I'm just doing what I can to prepare like I would play."
Smith, the eighth pick in the draft, ended a month-long holdout last week after finally coming to terms with the Bears. He was the last draft pick to sign with his new team and did not play in last Saturday's preseason win over the Denver Broncos.
His teammates believe Smith will be out there against the Chiefs.
"I think everyone is anxious [to see him]," Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan said. "I think he is too. So it's a good thing to have him out there flying around make some plays, just to see him out there it will add to this defense."
Trevathan acknowledged that finally having Smith with the team after a lengthy holdout has given a boost to the entire group.
"We got everybody here and that adds fuel to the defense," Trevathan said. "Just to have him here, definitely adds fuel to us. We just got to get him out there. Taking his time, which is understandable right now, but once you are out there you got to pick up quick in this defense. This defense has been pretty good, now can we get better from there? And how much can you bring to the table?"
Smith believes that he will be able to bring a lot to the field and will be able to produce in week one even if he doesn't get clearance from Nagy to play this week for some reason.
"I feel very comfortable in myself and my ability," Smith said. "So whenever coach [Nagy] feels like it's right for me to get out there then it will be that."