Chicago Bears: Key Players to Watch Against Cleveland Browns in Preseason Finale

Gabe SalgadoCorrespondent IIIAugust 30, 2012

Jay Cutler more than likely will not start tonight.
Jay Cutler more than likely will not start tonight.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

On Thursday night, the Bears will close out the 2012 preseason. The final roster picture is starting to look a lot clearer. 

The Bears will pay a visit to the Cleveland Browns in what has become somewhat of an annual, preseason match.

The Bears are looking for their best preseason record since 2009, while the Browns are out to prove that they are for real this year.

The starters for both teams will see little to no playing time Thursday night. So, the focus will be on the backup players, as final roster spots are on the line.

Here is what to look for in the preseason finale.



I'll be surprised if Jay Cutler plays Thursday night. I expect Jason Campbell's reps to be limited as well.

I'm amazed that the Bears cut Matt Blanchard, considering he was out-performing Josh McCown. Perhaps Blanchard could be added to the practice squad, but McCown will get plenty of snaps.


Running Back

Harvey Unga was cut this week, which was not really a surprise to anyone. With that being said, this now makes the battle for the third running-back slot solely between Armando Allen and Lorenzo Booker.

I expect to see very little playing time for Matt Forte and Michael Bush. That is, of course, if they even play at all.


Wide Receiver

Rashied Davis was let go earlier this week. At the same time, Terriun Crump was re-signed after being released last week.

The Bears' coaching staff has to decide if it wants to keep five or six receivers on the roster. So I expect to get good looks at Crump, Dane Sanzenbacher, Eric Weems and Joe Anderson.


Tight End

The Bears' coaching staff still has to decide which three or four out of the five players they will keep at this position. Expect everyone to get a good amount of playing time Thursday evening.


Offensive Line

The Bears have already started making cuts at this position. Hopefully, the starter at left tackle will finally be named after this game. From there, the Bears' coaches will need to decide who the backups will be.


Defensive Line

With Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson not playing for Cleveland in this game, the Bears will get to chase after Colt McCoy and Seneca Wallace.

Derek Walker, Thaddeus Gibson, and John McCargo have already been removed from the roster. The starters will get some reps, but guys like Shea McClellin, Corey Wootton, Brian Price and Stephen Paea will get most of the snaps against the Browns.



Dom DeCicco was waived this week; getting injured in Week 2 against the Redskins was his downfall.

Nick Roach will start again for Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs has his position held down, and Geno Hayes' status is questionable, as his practice time has been limited this week.

The question is: Where do J.T. Thomas and Blake Costanzo fit in?


Defensive Backs

With Brandon Hardin on injured reserve, Mark LeGree and Anthony Walters will get a big chance to prove themselves.


Special Teams

Ryan Quigley will be punting again in this game, as Adam Podlesh is still dealing with a hip injury.


Hopefully, after this matchup we'll know what the official, 2012 Chicago Bears roster will be.