With the Bears trimming the roster down to 75 yesterday, there are a few players gone that have been expected (goodbye, no-block Harvey Unga) and some that were arguably tough cuts like Blanchard, Crump, or Summers. In addition, injuries have influenced players sticking around past the first wave of cuts that otherwise may have been gone. The Bears final preseason game is Thursday, and by Friday all teams must be at fifty-three players on the active roster (which does not include injured reserve or physically unable to participate players). So, how are things shaping up in this second edition of the roster prediction game? Hit the jump and let's make some guesses.
Here's a link to last week's predictions; in a twist of luck none of the players I had on the fifty-three man roster were cut, although Brandon Hardin was placed on IR. Players already released or placed on injured reserve are in italics.
Fifty-Three Man Roster
QB's in (3) - Jay Cutler, Jason Campbell, Josh McCown
QB's out- Blanchard
Reasoning: Blanchard's gone, to the disappointment of some, but I'm sticking with a solid veteran depth chart that runs three deep. No change from before.
RB's in (3) - Matt Forte, Michael Bush, Armando Allen
RB's out - Lorenzo Booker, Kahlil Bell, Harvey Unga
Reasoning: Bell and Unga are gone, leaving the dogfight for the number three running back spot between Allen and Booker. I still say Allen has the edge due to his scat back abilities, which are more divergent from the skill sets of both Forte and Bush. No change here from last week.
FB/TE's in (4) - Kellen Davis, Matt Spaeth, Evan Rodriguez, Kyle Adams
FB/TE's out - Tyler Clutts
Reasoning: I switched out Tyler Clutts' roster spot with Kyle Adams, believing that Adams' versatility as both a receiving tight end and an h-back blocker vault him over Clutts. I think this one will go down to the wire, but I still expect four fullback/tight ends to make the roster. And no, I don't think Spaeth is going anywhere despite a limited preseason due to injury. He's the best blocker of the bunch, and the only one with a skill that isn't easily replaced by another tight end on the roster.
WR's in (5) - Brandon Marshall, Earl Bennett, Devin Hester, Alshon Jeffery, Eric Weems
WR's out - Johnny Knox, Dane Sanzenbacher, Rashied Davis, Terriun Crump, Brittan Golden
Reasoning: I'm not changing my belief that the Bears go with five receivers this year, although Sanzenbacher has the edge over Davis at this point (but not by much). The Bears are deep in talent at wideout, finally, and have more pressing roster issues with injuries at safety and punter.
OL in (9) - Gabe Carimi, J'Marcus Webb, Chris Williams, Roberto Garza, Chilo Rachal, Chris Spencer, Edwin Williams, James Brown, Lance Louis
OL out - Cory Brandon, Ricky Henry, A.J. Greene
Reasoning: No change here, although if Spencer struggles Thursday night, he could be shown the door. Other than him, I don't any of the other eight lineman losing their roster spot. Oh, and a nitpick for the official Bears team website: when listing roster positions, it makes no sense to have some players listed as "G" and some "OG," unless somehow Henry and Rachal are more bad*ss than we thought.
DE's in (5) - Julius Peppers, Israel Idonije, Corey Wootton, Shea McClellin, Chauncey Davis
DE's out - Cheta Ozougwu, Aston Whiteside, Derek Walker, Thaddeus Gibson,
Reasoning: Walker and Gibson were shown the door, although surprisingly Whiteside survived the first wave of cuts. I still think Davis has the inside track on the #5 DE position despite only registering two tackles in the preseason due to some decent penetration in passing situations. Ozougwu, the former 7th round pick is in the conversation though, with two preseason sacks (albeit against backups). Wootton remains on the roster, mainly because I don't see Lovie cutting him yet.
DT's in (5) - Henry Melton, Stephen Paea, Matt Toeaina, Nate Collins, Brian Price
DT's out - John McCargo, DeMario Pressley, Jordan Miller
Reasoning: McCargo and DeMario are gone because Marinelli hates guys with two capital letters in a name, but Jordan Miller is fighting for a spot with Price. I still say the Bears go five at DT, and Price makes it based on the potential that we've seen at times in the preseason. I doubt the Bears go with four DT's especially considering Paea is already dealing with an injury.
LB's in (6) - Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Geno Hayes, J.T. Thomas, Nick Roach, Blake Costanzo
LB's out - Dom DeCicco, Robbie Thornton, Patrick Trahan, Jabara Williams, Xavier Adibi,
Reasoning: I'm coping out a bit here, since the linebacker position is, to me at least, the most muddled position to figure out. I think the six guys I have making the roster are all locks; Thomas has shown more than any of the guys that are on the outside looking in, but its close between DeCicco and Williams to try and force their way onto the roster. Regardless, expect someone to get the Lovie redshirt this year, and don't be surprised if seven 'backers are kept.
CB's in (5) - Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings, DJ Moore, Kelvin Hayden, Isaiah Frey
CB's out -, Jonathan Wilhite, Greg McCoy, Cornelius Brown, Jeremy Jones
Reasoning: I switched out McCoy for Frey, and if you asked me why, I couldn't tell a lie, I'm not sure, but it'll be Frey.
Safeties in (4) - Major Wright, Chris Conte, Craig Steltz, Anthony Walters
Safeties out - Brandon Hardin, Trevor Coston
Reasoning: Hardin's IR placement puts Walters firmly on the roster. I don't expect the Bears to add another player until after week one, the reason being contracts are guaranteed for players on the week one roster. After week one, the Bears will likely bring a veteran in like Charlie Peprah to add some depth. This scenario, however, depends on Conte being healthy for week one, which is still not a lock.
Special Teams in (4) - Robbie Gould, Adam Podlesh, Patrick Mannelly, Ryan Quigley
Special Teams out - None
Reasoning: I've heard reports of Podlesh being good to go week one, to being out four-to-six weeks and missing some time, so I don't know what's going on with his leg. Unless the Bears know for a fact by Friday that Podlesh can play against the Colts, I say the Bears keep Quigley.
Hit the comments section to voice your best guess on the Bears' final 53-man roster, and to flog me for keeping two punters on the opening day roster.