5 Bears who could become key reserves in 2020
Depth matters in the NFL. Football is a violent game and injuries happen. When they do, the best teams have players who are capable of filling in for a few weeks or more. Here are five reserves who could emerge as critical players for the Bears in 2020.
Javon Wims, WR
The Bears' receiving corps will feature Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller and Ted Ginn at the start of the season, but with Miller's injury history and Ginn's advanced age, an opportunity for Wims to make plays in 2020 should present itself. Wims had 18 catches for 186 yards and one touchdown in 2019. The presence of rookie Darnell Mooney and second-year wideout Riley Ridley will pose a challenge for playing time, but Wims has the size (6'2, 221 pounds) and ball skills to be a real factor when called upon.
Rashaad Coward, OG
Rashaad Coward already proved his value as a quality reserve in 2019 when he filled in at guard after Kyle Long was lost for the season. Coward, whose first NFL rep came in Week 4 against the Raiders, is still learning how to play offensive line after being a defensive convert. And remember: Coward could conceivably win the starting guard role over free-agent signing, Germain Ifedi.
Ryan Nall, RB
A former undrafted free agent from Oregon State, Nall's tenure with the Bears has mostly been on the practice squad over the last two seasons. But with no running backs added to the roster in free agency or NFL draft, Nall has little competition to ascend to Montgomery's primary backup (in a traditional sense and excluding Tarik Cohen's satellite gig). Even if it's just to give Montgomery a breather from time to time, there's a chance Nall's number will be called more than it ever has.
Joel Iyiegbuniwe, LB
The Bears allowed Nick Kwiatkoski to walk in free agency, leaving a hole behind starters Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith. Iyiegbuniwe has yet to make an impact outside of special teams because his path to playing time has been blocked by the quality depth Chicago's had at the position. That won't be the case in 2020.
Barkevious Mingo, Edge
Mingo is a failed top-10 pick who's turned into a journeyman linebacker/edge rusher. The Bears are his fifth team since 2016. But that doesn't mean he won't have value for this team, assuming he makes the final roster. Chicago is light on edge rushers behind Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn, and there's a bit of an injury history between the two as well. Mingo still has the quick-twitch that made him a highly coveted draft prospect and with all the talent Chicago has on its front-seven, Mingo could surprise as a productive edge player off the bench.