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Bears vs. Titans: Notes from the preseason finale, roster locks, and bubble guys

Tennessee Titans v Chicago Bears Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Before the Chicago Bears kicked off against the Tennessee Titans, they tweeted out a lengthy list of inactives which gave us a head start on Chicago’s 53-man roster. So for those scoring at home, here’s the list of the defensive players that officially were held out.

Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Bilal Nichols, Roy Robertson-Harris, Khalil Mack, Leonard Floyd, Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan, Prince Amukamara, Kyle Fuller, Buster Skrine, Eddie Jackson, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

Once the game kicked off, these additional defensive players didn’t see the field.

Nick Kwiatkoski, Jonathan Bullard, Nick Williams, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Isaiah Irving, Duke Shelley, Deon Bush, Sherrick McManis, and DeAndre Houston-Carson.

I’m assuming all the above defenders made the team.

There was one other defensive player that didn’t play, but he’s missed all preseason with an injury, so I’d expect rookie Stephen Denmark to find his way on to the injured reserve list.

Over on offense, the Bears announced the following inactives.

Mitchell Trubisky, David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen, Mike Davis, Allen Robinson II, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller, Cordarrelle Patterson, Javon Wims, Trey Burton, Adam Shaheen, Ben Braunecker, Charles Leno Jr., Cody Whitehair, James Daniels, Kyle Long, Bobby Massie, Ted Larsen, and another injured Bear, Rashaad Coward, who has been nursing an elbow injury.

These other offensive players didn’t receive any action in the game either.

Chase Daniel, Marvin Hall, Ellis Richardson, and Cornelius Lucas, but I don’t think that Richardson or Lucas are locks. Lucas has a chance if Coward’s injury lingers, but the Bears could find a better offensive lineman after cut downs.

But lets get to the actual preseason finale, shall we?

The Bears lost if that type of thing matters to you guys, but in my opinion the top story from Thursday night was kicker Eddy Pineiro. Sure he shanked his first kick, badly missing an extra point, but he came back and hit his next three field goals. His kickoffs were also pretty good all evening. Also, if you were watching the Chicago FOX feed, you would have noticed him out there on the field late in the game lining up and throwing grass in the air to see how the wind was blowing. He was also spotted out on Soldier Field after the game doing a similar thing. Plus, he was quoted in the locker room saying he wanted to practice at Soldier Field during the week. Pineiro is ready to be the kicker of the 2019 Chicago Bears, now we wait to see if the Bears are willing to give him the job. My guess is they are.

Quarterback Tyler Bray put some nice stuff on tape, but I doubt it’s enough to land him a spot on a 53-man roster. With his practice squad eligibility intact for one more year, I expect him to get be waived, then return to be the Bears number three on their practice squad.

Ninety-nine of Bray’s 334 passing yards went to undrafted free agent wide out Thomas Ives (on 5 receptions). Ives had a damn good training camp and I would expect him to be in the running for a practice squad job.

Another practice squad hopeful is tight end Jesper Horsted, who caught 5 balls for 82 yards and his second touchdown in as many weeks. He was hurt early in camp, but has come on strong and looks to be battling with the other UDFA tight ends on the roster for one of the 10 practice squad spots. Ian Bunting, who has been up and down this preseason, Dax Raymond, who left last night’s game with a concussion, and Ellis Richardson, who also flashed during camp, all have potential.

Ryan Nall led the 2019 preseason Bears in rushing yards (135) and receptions (10), but with the way the inactives fell last night, I think his best chance to stick around again is on the practice squad.

Running back Josh Caldwell has made the most of his short time in Chicago by running for a team high 68 yards against the Titans. He chipped in with 4 catches for 35 yards last night and he also has a good case for the practice squad.

Alex Bars, the UDFA offensive guard out of Notre Dame, continued his strong offseason by starting the finale at left tackle and playing well. I had him as a lock before this game, and that’s still the case.

Moving over to the defensive side of the ball, anyone else find it strange that Aaron Lynch not only started but played a bunch in the first half? Head coach Matt Nagy said they wanted to see where his conditioning was after being hurt the last couple weeks, but we’ll see what happens on cut down day. I think he’s safe, but you never can tell.

Fellow outside linebacker James Vaughters picked up his team leading third sack of the preseason and I think he has made a strong push to make the team. He’s certainly flashed more than former draft pick Kylie Fitts, but Fitts’ ability to play special teams might give him an edge.

Cornerback Kevin Toliver II, who was on the roster a year ago, not only started the fourth preseason game, but he was playing well into the fourth quarter. What does that mean for his chances to make the 2019 squad? We’ll find out by Saturday at the latest, but I thought he played a nice game and I expect him to make the team again.

What were some of your takeaways from last night’s game?