Last year the NFL had one cut-down date when teams needed to get their rosters to the mandated 53-player limit, but this year the league announced that there will be three dates of cut-downs, all coming after each of the three preseason games.
After only having 80 players on their offseason rosters last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league will again have the 90-man offseason roster back in effect for the 2021 season. Teams can remain at 90 players until August 17, which is the Tuesday after the first preseason games, and at that point 5 players must be cut.
Teams can carry 85 players into the second preseason game, but they’ll need to cut 5 more on the Tuesday following that weekend of games (August 24).
Rosters can remain at 80 players until August 31, the Tuesday following the third and final preseason games, when each team must be down to the mandated 53-man roster limit.
This cut-down schedule will give teams more time to work through waivers and build their practice squads as the opening Sunday falls on September 12. Previously teams had to cut down to 53 players on the Saturday prior to kickoff weekend.
Here’s the preseason schedule for the Chicago Bears.
- August 14, Noon CT vs the Miami Dolphins
- August 21, Noon CT vs the Buffalo Bills
- August 28, 6:00 p.m. CT at the Tennessee Titans
The Bears 17 game regular season can be found here.
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