Bears 53-man roster projections before final preseason game


Matt Nagy announced earlier this week that the Bears’ final preseason game would look a lot like the “old-school” fourth preseason game. In other words, you’re not going to see many starters take the field in Nashville, as coaches focus on evaluating players further down the depth chart. For many players, that will be the last great opportunity to prove they deserve a spot on the team, since all NFL teams need to cut down to their 53-man roster by 3 p.m. on Aug. 31. But if cuts had to come today, here’s our second crack at how things would shake out.


Andy Dalton, Justin Fields, Nick Foles

This position group is as straight-forwards as they come. The only thing that could change is if a quarterback gets hurt somewhere else across the league, and they’re interested in making a trade for Foles to fill the void.


David Montgomery, Damien Williams, Khalil Herbert, Ryan Nall

Tarik Cohen still hasn’t returned to practice as he continues to rehab from his ACL injury. There's a good chance he's opens the year on the PUP list, opening the door for a running back further down the depth chart to make the team. The nod goes to Nall, since Artavis Pierce has a similar skillset to Herbert. Nall has also acted as the Bears’ third-string long snapper, just in case Patrick Scales and Cole Kmet are both out of commission for any point, again.



Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, Marquise Goodwin, Damiere Byrd, Rodney Adams, Dazz Newsome

Inconsistency cost Riley Ridley and Javon Wims their roster spots after each player has tried to carve out a role on the team for several years. The emergence of Adams, plus the additions of Goodwin, Byrd and rookie Newsome both increased the competition in the room, and made Ridley and Wims expendable.


Cole Kmet, Jimmy Graham, Jesse James, J.P. Holtz

James has picked up Nagy’s offense quickly and has already developed a rapport with Fields on the second team. That helped him earn a job. But none of the top-three TEs is known for their blocking prowess, so Holtz also sticks around to contribute in that regard.


Jason Peters, Cody Whitehair, Sam Mustipher, James Daniels, Germain Ifedi, Elijah Wikinson, Alex Bars, Larry Borom, Lachavious Simmons

Teven Jenkins is another man destined to start the season on the PUP, and with offensive line depth issues already rearing their ugly head this year, it wouldn’t be surprising if the team opted to take nine O-linemen. Simmons gets the nod since he’s gotten so much work as a starting right tackle, and has shown he can slide in if needed.


Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Bilal Nichols, Angelo Blackson, Khyiris Tonga

The Bears have a ton of talent on the defensive line, and each man has earned a job, if not here then elsewhere. Tonga especially has proven he’s an NFL-level talent and may not clear waivers if the Bears tried to sneak him onto the practice squad, so he stays on our 53-man roster. Mario Edwards Jr. will be suspended for the first two games of the season, so while he’ll eventually make the team, to start he won’t count towards the Bears’ 53.


Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn, Jeremiah Attaochu, Trevis Gipson

Mack and Quinn will be the focal points here. But Attaochu and Gipson could get more snaps if Desai tries to keep his top two guys fresh to maximize their production. James Vaughters is one of those “tough cuts” you hear coaches talk about. Meanwhile the team hopes Charles Snowden makes it through waivers unclaimed so they can stash him on the practice squad.


Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan, Alec Ogletree, Christian Jones, Joel Iyiegbuniwe

Ogletree’s outstanding camp has transformed him from a look-and-see signing to a roster lock at this point. Iyiegbuniwe is on the bubble to make the team, but he gets a spot here for his contributions on special teams. That makes Josh Woods the odd man out.


Jaylon Johnson, Kindle Vildor, Artie Burns, Duke Shelley, Thomas Graham

The first time we ran through this exercise, it was Desmond Trufant who we put on the team and Burns who we left off. But Trufant has missed a bunch of practices lately due to injuries and personal reasons, and when it comes to roster crunch time that could make the difference. It’s an unfortunate reason for anyone to be cut, but it’s also the reality in the NFL sometimes.



Eddie Jackson, Tashaun Gipson, Deon Bush, DeAndre Houston-Carson, Marqui Christian

Another incredibly talented group. The top four players are all locks, and you could make a case for Christian, Josh Lucas and Teez Tabor to earn jobs as well. But Ryan Pace and Nagy will have to make some tough decisions here. Christian makes the team here because of how well he’s played in practice lately.


Cairo Santos, Pat O’Donnell, Patrick Scales

The Bears are happy there are no questions around the kicking team this season. They’ll probably try to get rookie Brian Johnson on the practice squad too, as he’s had a great camp, and having a reliable kicker ready to go in the time of COVID-19 is valuable.

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