Projecting the Chicago Bears' Final 53-Man Roster After Preseason Week 2
The Chicago Bears are just under three weeks away from the start of the regular season. Between now and then they need to reduce their current roster from 90 to 53.
In this article, we'll break down the roster by each major position, and speculate who makes the team, who is on the bubble, and who is on the outside looking in.
Final Roster: Jay Cutler, Jason Campbell
On the Bubble: Josh McCown
Outside Looking in: Matt Blanchard
Final Roster Slots: 3
The Bears will go into the regular season with three quarterbacks on the final roster. Cutler and Campbell are locks, and Josh McCown is probably the guy who will take the emergency quarterback slot.
Matt Blanchard has looked OK in preseason action, and he has an outside shot to beat out McCown for the No. 3 slot.
Final Roster: Matt Forte, Michael Bush, Tyler Clutts
On the Bubble: Harvey Unga, Kahlil Bell
Outside Looking in: Lorenzo Booker, Armando Allen
Final Roster Slots: 4
The Bears are going to make some tough cuts at the running back position. Forte and Bush are locked in. Tyler Clutts is more of a blocking back, but has certainly done enough to warrant a roster spot. He is more of a fullback/blocker, but the Bears like him in short-yardage situations.
Harvey Unga is in competition with Clutts, and could possibly still make the final roster. Kahlil Bell filled in for Matt Forte last season, but the Bears have Michael Bush now.
Booker and Allen are both scat-back type guys who are more change-of-pace guys to complement the straight-ahead style of Forte and Bush. Booker also has good return skills, but the Bears have other options there as well.
Final Roster: Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, Eric Weems
On the Bubble: Dane Sanzenbacher, Rashied Davis, Chris Summers
Outside Looking in: Johnny Knox, Terriun Crump, Joe Anderson, Brittan Golden
Final Roster Slots: 7
The Bears have huge depth at WR for the first time in awhile. Their new passing offense has the potential to reach 4,000 yards for the season.
Brandon Marshall, Eric Weems and Alshon Jeffery are new to the team but are locks to make the roster. Devin Hester and Earl Bennett are solid players who will move down the depth chart a bit but will still make the final 53.
Sanzenbacher was on the team last year and is having a solid camp. Rashied Davis was a former Bear who bounced around to several teams before returning just a few weeks ago. Chris Summers has all the physical skills but committed a key turnover this week and could land on the practice squad rather than the final 53.
Johnny Knox will almost certainly start the season on the physically unable to play list. Crump, Anderson and Golden have a better chance of landing on the practice squad than the final roster.
Final Roster: Kellen Davis, Matt Spaeth
On the Bubble: Kyle Adams, Evan Rodriguez
Outside Looking in: Brandon Venson
Final Roster Slots: 3
While the Bears never really used the tight end position under Mike Martz, Mike Tice promises to use the position both for blocking and pass-catching.
Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth have solid NFL experience, and will most certainly make the final 53 roster.
Evan Rodriguez is a rookie who has shown good halfback potential and Kyle Adams has shown flashes of being a solid player as well. They'll compete for the final roster spot over the next two weeks, with Rodriguez probably winning the final spot.
Brandon Venson has not done much and is in danger of being cut.
Final Roster: J'Marcus Webb, Gabe Carimi, Chris Williams, Lance Louis, Patrick Mannelly, Roberto Garza
On the Bubble: Chris Spencer, Edwin Williams, James Brown, Chilo Rachal
Outside Looking in: A.J. Greene, Cory Brandon, Ricky Henry, Nick Pieschel
Final Roster Slots: 8
This position will be another tricky one for the Bears when they cut down to the final 53-man roster.
Webb, Carimi, Louis and Garza are currently starters and will certainly make the final roster. Patrick Mannelly is the long snapper and the Bears will need him as well. Chris Williams is still competing with Webb for the final spot, but the loser will probably make the final roster too.
Chris Spencer and Edwin Williams will compete for the center position. The loser probably won't make the roster. James Brown has done well in training camp and Chilo Rachal has seen a lot of preseason action. Two or possibly three of these guys could make the roster.
Greene, Brandon, Henry and Pieschel probably won't make the final 53-man roster unless there are some serious injuries.
Final Roster: Shea McClellin, Julius Peppers, Israel Idonije, Henry Melton, Stephen Paea, Matt Toeaina
On the Bubble: Corey Wootton, Chauncey Davis, John McCargo, Brian Price, Nate Collins
Outside Looking in: Derek Walker, Cheta Ozougwu, Thaddeus Gibson, Jordan Miller, DeMario Pressley
Final Roster Slots: 9
The Bears have more flexibility on the defensive line than they have had in the last several years, with people able to play multiple positions. Rookie Shea McClellin started at defensive end this week, pushing Israel Idonije into the defensive tackle position from the outside.
Peppers and Melton are locks to make the team. Stephen Paea has been having a great camp, but is missing a little time due to injury. He and Matt Toeaina should both make the team, although Paea has the inside track on the starting position.
Corey Wootton has been doing well and was with the team last season. Davis had some success with the Bears last season, but is far from a lock to make the team. McCargo, Price and Collins have all been brought in from other teams in the hopes of adding depth to the line.
The rest of the group have little or no NFL experience and need to really make a showing if they hope to beat out any of the guys in front of them.
Final Roster: Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Nick Roach,
On the Bubble: Geno Hayes, Blake Costanzo, Dom DeCicco, J.T. Thomas
Outside Looking in: Xavier Adibi, K.C. Asiodu, Ronnie Thornton, Patrick Trahan, Aston Whiteside, Jabara Williams, Adrien Cole
Final Roster Slots: 6
The Bears brought in a few extra linebackers this summer to help fill some holes on special teams. The Bears could keep as many as six linebackers this year after the final roster cut down.
Urlacher, Briggs and Roach are the starters. Roach is also filling in for Urlacher while he is hurt. All three are not in danger of losing their roster spots.
DeCicco was with the team last year and should retain his position with the squad. Costanzo has been a standout special teamer and will probably make the team as well. Geno Hayes and J.T. Thomas will compete to make the final roster, too, but it is unlikely that the Bears will retain seven linebackers this year.
The rest of the group are definitely on the outside looking in. Xavier Adibi has the most NFL experience of the group, but he's on his third NFL team and is sitting behind some rock solid players. If he's cut, expect him to land somewhere else.
Final Roster: Charles Tillman, D.J. Moore, Major Wright, Chris Conte, Tim Jennings, Craig Steltz, Brandon Hardin, Kelvin Hayden
On the Bubble: Jonathan Wilhite
Outside Looking in: Greg McCoy, Isaiah Frey, Anthony Walters, Cornelius Brown, Trevor Coston, Jeremy Jones
Final Roster Slots: 11
The Bears have used the shotgun approach to their defensive back positions over the last several years, and this year looks like it will be more of the same. The cornerback depth is a bit larger than it has been for previous season, but the safety position is still a big question mark.
Tillman is a lock at cornerback. Tim Jennings and Kelvin Hayden have been competing for the other starting position. The loser will also make the final roster. Moore, Wright and Steltz should all return to the team this season as well.
Brandon Hardin sustained an injury this week, but he appears to be OK. He'll make the roster unless something major is wrong and he ends up on the PUP. Chris Conte also was injured this week, but the Bears have already said he is OK.
Jonathan Wilhite had a terrible game this week, but the Bears need the depth, so he'll probably be on the 53-man team.
The rest of the group have little or no NFL experience, but one or two of them may still make the final squad.
Final Roster: Robbie Gould, Adam Podlesh
On the Bubble: Ryan Quigley
Final Roster Slots: 2
Gould and Podlesh are kickers for Chicago this season. Both are top 10 players at their positions in the NFL, and there is little danger they won't make the team.
Ryan Quigley is on the bubble after this week, though, due to the hip injury to Podlesh. The extent of that injury is not known, and it may be necessary to retain Quigley until Podlesh is back to full strength.