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Should safety depth be a concern?

We know the Bears have Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker, but what’s behind them?

Tennessee Titans v Chicago Bears Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The 53-man roster is really coming into focus, but for the Chicago Bears, there’s one question that nobody seems interested in talking about: do the Bears have enough depth at safety?

Earlier this week DeAndre Houston-Carson signed with the Baltimore Ravens. While DHC wasn’t a defensive stud and he was 30-years old, many people, myself included, thought he should return as the Bears third safety, but that was not to be.

We know that Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker will be starting. We also know that as long as they are healthy, they are going to be out there for 100% of the Bears’ defensive snaps. With that in mind, you could argue that depth at safety shouldn’t be a concern with a roster that is still a work-in-progress but the fact is, it could be a glaring issue.

Jaquan Brisker has missed a significant amount of time in August with an injury. Eddie Jackson has missed eight games over the last two seasons and has also been banged up recently as well.

The odds are that the Bears’ third safety is going to see some reps this year. Elijah Hicks flashed a few nice plays against the Colts in joint practices and had a couple in the first preseason game as well, but he’s also regularly been the player that is being victimized on deep completions by Justin Fields the most out of the secondary.

Kendall Williamson hasn’t had many meaningful reps at all at camp, he seems destined for the practice squad. Adrian Colbert has been a career practice squad player for the last five years and certainly hasn’t done much to show he deserves to be on a 53-man roster. That leaves AJ Thomas who did start at safety with Hicks when both Brisker and Jackson were out against the Colts in joint practices.

Thomas was a UDFA in 2022 and spent most of the season on the practice squad last year, but he did see some late season play when most of the team was injured. Thomas is back this year and seems to be the fourth safety on the roster at present. He has also shown a few decent plays including an interception against Tennessee.

Hicks and Thomas have clearly risen to be the key depth pieces at safety, the question is, when they are called upon to be out there on defense, will they be able to hold down the fort and keep what should be a strong secondary churning? We know secondaries are only as strong as their weakest link and with no other veteran on the roster at safety, one of these guys is going to have to step up and play well when they are inevitably called upon at some point this season.