After one game of practice football some Chicago Bears’ fans are ready to call the 2016 season already.
It didn’t count.
Teams don’t game-plan for that first preseason game, so it comes down to talent vs talent, and the Denver Broncos have more talent than the Bears. Plus the Bears are working in a lot of new faces, so the growing pains are expected.
Bears’ fans should all get ready for another beat-down next week when the Bears travel to play the New England Patriots. The Pats are a better team top to bottom, so don’t expect a W on August 18th and that’s OK.
But with that being said, Chicago’s offensive line has to play better next week.
When constructing a 53 man roster, injured players could throw a wrench into things. The PUP listed players won’t count towards the 53, but once activated, someone will need to be removed. There are also usually a few players that are injured enough for teams to sneak onto the injured list, thus allowing the team to keep them around, but not count against the final roster.
Here’s my prediction for Chicago’s opening day 53 man roster, I’ll give it another go after the next couple preseason games as well.
Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer
Both David Fales and Connor Shaw have practice squad eligibility, so I think the Bears roll with 2 QBs on the active roster with one of them sticking around on the PS.
RUNNING BACKS (4)
Jeremy Langford, Jacquizz Rodgers, Jordan Howard, Ka’Deem Carey
That 4th spot will come down to Carey and Senorise Perry with special teams play being a factor. Carey has entered the concussion protocol after last nights game, which is bad news for a bubble player.
I think the Bears want a traditional fullback to win a job, but if none deserve it, they may keep an extra tight end that can play some H-Back.
TIGHT ENDS (3)
Zach Miller, Rob Housler, Khari Lee
I’m not confident in any of the guys after Miller so it would not surprise me to see someone added once teams cut down to 53.
WIDE RECEIVERS (6*)
Alshon Jeffery, Kevin White, Marc Mariani, Josh Bellamy, Deonte Thompson, Daniel Braverman, *Marquess Wilson (PUP)
If Eddie Royal remains sidelined much longer, I don’t know how the Bears can keep him to open the season. I also think Mariani and Thompson could be fighting for one spot and if that’s the case, Cameron Meredith sneaks on to the 53 in place of one of them. I think Braverman has too much upside to let go of.
OFFENSIVE LINE (9)
Bobbie Massie (T), Kyle Long (G), Ted Larsen (C/G), Cody Whitehair (G), Charles Leno Jr. (T), Amini Silatolu (G), Mike Adams (T), Cornelius Edison (C), Garry Williams (T/G)
I could see the Bears scouring the waiver wire once teams cut down to 53. A veteran back up center/guard could be had and a better tackle/guard would be nice. I expect Hroniss Grasu to end up on IR.
EDIT: With Khaled Holmes signed, I think he would be a better option as a back up center over Edison.
Offensive Total - 25
SPECIAL TEAMS (3)
Robbie Gould (K), Patrick O’Donnell (P), Aaron Brewer (LS)
Brewer has more experience, but either he or Patrick Scales are one bad snap away from getting a pink slip. Long snapping is a pinpoint job and the most consistent will remain.
DEFENSIVE LINE (5)
Eddie Goldman, Akiem Hicks, Micth Unrein, Jonathan Bullard, Cornelius Washington
We’ll have to wait and see if CornWash’s latest injury is another season ender, but if he’s healthy, he makes it.
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (5)
Pernell McPhee, Willie Young, Lamarr Houston, Leonard Floyd, Sam Acho
I know some fans are hoping the freakishly athletic, UDFA Roy Robertson-Harris makes the team, but he hasn’t really practiced after an early injury. Christian Jones’ versatility and special teams play may keep him around. I think McPhee ends up off the PUP list before the season starts.
INSIDE LINEBACKERS (5)
Jerrell Freeman, Danny Trevathan, Jonathan Anderson, Lamin Barrow, Nick Kwiatkoski
Barrow was a key special teamer for the Bears last year, leading them in ST snaps at 309, so I think he sticks. The rookie Kwiatkoski has been out with a hamstring injury, but I think he’ll be healthy enough to avoid IR.
Kyle Fuller, Tracy Porter, Bryce Callahan, Deiondre' Hall, Sherick McManis
I think the 5th spot comes down to McMannis or De'Vante Bausby. Then again, the Bears opened the season with six corners last year, so they may do so again.
Adrian Amos, Harold Jones-Quartey, Deon Bush, DeAndre Houston-Carson, Chris Prosinski
Bush led all Bears in total snaps last night, with 55 on D (76%) and 9 more on special teams (33%). Prosinski may lose his spot to the versatile Demontre Hurst who has experience at nickle. Then again, Hurst could stick as a 6th “safety” and the Bears could only carry four corners. I could see an “injury” creeping up and landing one of the young defensive backs (DHC maybe?) on injured reserve.
Defensive total - 25
What are your thoughts?
The next cut down date is Tuesday, August 30 when all teams must trim their rosters to 75 players by 3 p.m. After that, the next important date is Saturday, September 3 when teams need to be at 53 by 3 p.m.