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Chicago Bears 2021 Position Battles: No drama among the specialists

We spotlight the kicker, punter, and long snapping position for the Chicago Bears in our training camp preview series.

NFL: DEC 27 Bears at Jaguars Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This is going to be an easy one.

Roster Locks

After the kickerpalooza that the Chicago Bears had a couple years ago, it’s good to see the franchise has finally righted the ship with their special teams. Cairo Santos had a record setting 2020 for the Bears, and they rewarded him with a three year, $9 million deal this offseason.

Punter Patrick O’Donnell has quietly become one of the most prolific punters in Chicago history. His 45.0 yards per punt is the best all-time for the Bears, and he’s fourth all-time in punts and punting yards. His ability to kickoff makes him extra valuable in emergency situations.

Long snapper Patrick Scales has played 69 games in his Bears’ career, and considering there’s no one else in camp he’ll add 17 more to his resume in 2021.

A good bet to make it

Besides the three mentioned above, there’s only one other specialist on the 90-man offseason roster.

On the bubble

The Bears have rookie Brian Johnson in camp, but he’s just a camp kicker to keep Santos fresh. However, with the possibility that COVID-19 could still potentially alter weekly rosters, the Bears could elect to keep a kicker on the practice squad again this season. If Johnson impresses and passes through waivers, the Bears could give him one of their 16 spots.

Are you guys happy with the Bears returning the same threesome as a year ago?