The Chicago Bears technically have until tomorrow (8/30) to get down to the mandated 75 player roster limit, but they have already started trimming their roster. I never understood the point of a going 90 to 75 when teams rarely play their starters in that final preseason game. Last year the Bears sat 30 of their 75 players for the preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns, and I would imagine they do something similar this Thursday night.
The Bears, like most teams, already know 95% of the players they plan to open the 2016 season with. Injuries could throw a wrench into things, but for the most part, there are only a couple of players legitimately fighting for a shot on an opening day roster.
The other guys are fighting to make a team’s 10 man practice squad, either with with the team they are currently on, or another NFL team. Scouts will be working overtime to recommend players for final spots and practice squads once teams cut down to 53.
Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer
It was unfortunate that Connor Shaw broke his leg on Saturday, because I really think the Bears were starting to lean toeards carrying 3 QBs to open the season. I do think they place Shaw on IR so they can keep him around the program.
David Fales is probably going to be cut, regardless on how good he plays on Thursday. If he makes it through waivers, I could see him being brought back for the practice squad.
RUNNING BACKS (4)
Jeremy Langford, Jacquizz Rodgers, Ka’Deem Carey, Jordan Howard
These four are the only RBs on the roster and I think they’re all safe.
Lasike is one of those guys fighting for a job, because I’m not sure how much the Bears plan of going with a dual backfield set. On Saturday they only had 4 plays with a fullback, instead going with 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR) or 12 personnel (1RB, 2TE, 2WR) most of the time
If the Bears shun this position, then I think they take a 4th tight end.
TIGHT ENDS (3)
Zach Miller, Rob Housler, Tony Moeaki
Housler received the start on Saturday so I think he’s shown the Bears enough to stick around. Health has been an issue for him, and if he’s healthy, I think he cangive teh Bears another receiving weapon. He was a 4.55 forty guy back at his NFL Combine.
I haven’t been impressed with Khari Lee at all, but the Bears seem to like him, so I could see being kept over Moeaki or Housler. Lee also has a chance to stick if the Bears keep a 4th TE over a FB.
UDFA Ben Braunecker is a long shot, but he has better upside than Housler, Moeaki or Leee so it wouldn’t surprise me if he makes it.
I could also see the Bears snagging a guy off the waiver wire if a blocking type becomes available.
WIDE RECEIVERS (6*)
Alshon Jeffery, Kevin White, Eddie Royal, Marc Mariani, Josh Bellamy, Cameron Merideth, *Marquess Wilson (PUP)
Listening to the beat writers, players and coaches, it sure seems like Royal is sticking around. If healthy, he can add something to the offense but he hasn’t been healthy. Mariani adds value because he can play all three WR spots, plus return kicks and punts (if needed).
The 6th spot will be between Meredith and Daniel Braverman.
I know fans are high on Braverman, but he hasn’t shown much this preseason. The coaches really like him as well, but do teams usually keep a #3 slot guy? Unless a team really has a need for a back up slot receiver that won’t play special teams, I think he makes it through waivers and back onto the Bears practice squad. The only way I see Braverman initially sticking is if Royal is a surprise cut.
OFFENSIVE LINE (9)
Bobbie Massie (T), Kyle Long (G), Ted Larsen (C/G), Cody Whitehair (G), Charles Leno Jr. (T), Cornelius Edison (C), Garry Williams (T/G), Amini Silatolu (G), Mike Adams (T)
The Bears will work the waiver wire to find some interior depth better than Silatolu, and if they can find a better option than Adams, I think they add another tackle too.
Offensive Total - 25
SPECIAL TEAMS (3)
Robbie Gould (K), Patrick O’Donnell (P), Patrick Scales (LS)
Even though Scales has been starting, Aaron Brewer is in the mix too.
DEFENSIVE LINE (6)
Eddie Goldman, Akiem Hicks, Micth Unrein, Jonathan Bullard, Cornelius Washington, Will Sutton
Even though Washington only played 5 snaps on Saturday, I think the Bears like his potential. HE has to stay healthy however. The 6th spot will be between Sutton and Ego Ferguson.
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (5)
Willie Young, Lamarr Houston, Leonard Floyd, Sam Acho, Christian Jones, *Pernell McPhee (PUP)
I don’t think McPhee will be on the PUP for much longer, he may even come off before the season. If he’s active, then Jones is out.
*Also if the Bears do keep McPhee and Wilson on the PUP to open the season, the earliest they can return is week 6.
INSIDE LINEBACKERS (4)
Jerrell Freeman, Danny Trevathan, Jonathan Anderson, John Timu
I thought Lamin Barrow’s special teams play could give him en edge, but with him missing on Saturday, Timu saw a team high 17 snaps in the 3rd phase. He’s also a better ILB than Barrow, so he sticks.
Rookie Nick Kwiatkoski hasn’t played or really practiced much, but I can’t see the Bears cutting a guy they traded up for. I could see him going in injured reserve, or the Bears could go with only 5 on the DL to make room on the 53 for him.
Kyle Fuller, Tracy Porter, Bryce Callahan, Deiondre' Hall, Jacoby Glenn
If Fuller and Porter aren’t going to be ready for week 1, then I think Glenn makes the team instead of special teams ace Sherrick McMannis. Callahan is banged up too, which really makes corner hard to predict.
Adrian Amos, Harold Jones-Quartey, Deon Bush, DeAndre Houston-Carson, Demontre Hurst
Injuries to nickleback Callahan has given Hurst a lot of playing time, so I can’t see the Bears cutting a versatile guy like him.
I think the Bears like Chris Prosinski as a special teamer, but do they value the 29 year old over the two rookie safeties. Perhaps an “injury” claims either Bush or DHC.
Defensive total - 25
What are your thoughts?
The final cut down date is Saturday, September 3rd when teams need to be at 53 by 3 p.m. Central.