Bears

Roster Tracker: Bears waive Michael Ola, David Bass; Young on trading block?

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Roster Tracker: Bears waive Michael Ola, David Bass; Young on trading block?

CSNChicago.com will track all the roster shuffling over the next 24 hours as the Bears finalize their 53-man roster by Saturday's 3 p.m. NFL deadline.

Check out the latest moves below:

SATURDAY

6:35 a.m.: Bears confirm roster cuts:

2:30 a.m.: DE David Bass has been placed on waivers

12:35 a.m.: OL Michael Ola has also been placed on waivers. Ola played in three games last year for the Bears:

11:45 a.m.: LB Matthew Wells has been placed on waivers. Wells was acquired from the Patriots in a trade for OL Matthew Groy. 

11:23 a.m.: WR AJ Cruz has been waived/injured after being hurt in Tuesday's practice. 

11:05 a.m.: TE Gannon Sinclair has been placed on waivers, according to Briggs.

11:00 a.m.: According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Bears have DE/OLB Willie Young on the trading block:

10:55 a.m.: LB Jonathan Anderson has been placed on waivers:

10:35 a.m.: WR Ify Umodu will be placed on waivers, according to Biggs

10:10 a.m.: DT Terry Williams has been placed on waivers, according to Biggs.

10:05 a.m.: According to Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs, Bears will place QB Zac Dysert on waivers. The team claimed him off waivers from the Broncos earlier in the week. 

FRIDAY

8:21 p.m.: Bears will place guard/center Conor Boffeli on waivers, per Biggs.

6:51: Biggs reports that veteran linebacker Mason Foster's contract will be terminated. Foster registered 15 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble during the preseason.

5:53 p.m.: Bears terminate the contract of veteran tight end Bear Pascoe. Pascoe didn't record any stats during the preseason with the Bears.

5:46 p.m.: Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs reports that the Bears have waived wide receiver Rashad Lawrence. In four preseason games, Lawrence hauled in nine receptions for 83 yards.

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5:33 p.m.: The Bears will terminate the contract of tight end Dante Rosario, according to Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Rosario had four catches for 30 yards during the preseason.

5:21 p.m.: Bears place linebacker Kyle Woestmann on waivers. Woestmann had his best showing of the preseason with four tackles and two sacks in Thursday's finale against the Cleveland Browns.

5:10 p.m.: Biggs reports that cornerback Qumain Black will be placed on waivers. Black concluded the preseason with five tackles.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Can the Bears pull off an upset at home against Tom Brady and the Patriots?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Can the Bears pull off an upset at home against Tom Brady and the Patriots?

Chris Emma, Matt Zahn and Gabe Ramirez join David Kaplan on the panel.

0:00- NBC Sports National NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh joins the panel to discuss the Bulls’ terrible defensive performance as well as Zach LaVine’s impressive season debut.

11:35- Khalil Mack is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Patriots. Can the Bears pull off the upset against Tom Brady?

23:50- NBC Sports Boston Patriots insider Tom E. Curran joins Kap to talk about how New England views the Bears and discuss how Matt Nagy’s team can exploit the Patriots’ weaknesses.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below.

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Khalil Mack appears set to play Sunday with Tom Brady, Patriots looming

Khalil Mack appears set to play Sunday with Tom Brady, Patriots looming

Khalil Mack appears in line to play Sunday with Tom Brady, Patriots looming

Khalil Mack participated in the Bears’ final practice of the week on Friday, clearing the way for the edge rusher to play Sunday against the New England Patriots. 

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported earlier Friday that the Bears expected Mack, who hasn’t missed a game in his career, to play after suffering an ankle injury early in Week 6’s 31-28 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Mack is officially questionable for Sunday’s game at Soldier Field. 

Mack had little interest in discussing his ankle with the media on Friday, passing on answering questions about his readiness for New England. Coach Matt Nagy, though, said he thought Mack “looked pretty good” during practice on Friday. 

Mack didn’t record a sack against Miami and was held to just one pressure, per Pro Football Focus. The Dolphins’ gameplan was to commit plenty of resources to stopping Mack, but he wasn’t effective even when he had one-on-one pass rushing opportunities as the game went on. 

“He was (affected),” defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. “I can't put a percentage on it, but he definitely was.”

Having Mack available — even if he’s not full strength — will be critical for the Bears’ defense to have a chance at keeping Tom Brady from lighting up the scoreboard. The key for the Bears will be to generate pressure on the 41-year-old quarterback without blitzing, which is something Fangio’s defense was successful at prior to Sunday’s wacky loss to the Dolphins. 

Brady’s passer rating is 138.4 when he’s blitzed, per Pro Football Focus, while when under pressure his rating is 87.2. That’s still pretty good, but it’s worth noting that all of the six interceptions he’s thrown this year have come when he hasn’t been blitzed. And only one of the eight sacks he’s taken has come when he’s been blitzed. 

The point being: If the Bears feel like they have to start blitzing to generate pressure, they can expect Brady to pick them apart.  

“You could say all of that but ultimately (Brady’s) a gamer,” Mack said. “He’s going to take those hits, and you gotta be able to deliver them but also have coverage over the top. It’s going to be real important for us.” 

The good news for the Bears, perhaps, is that New England’s tackles have struggled at times this year. Left tackle Trent Brown has allowed 17 pressures in 234 pass blocking snaps, per Pro Football Focus (about one in every 14 snaps). And starting right tackle Marcus Cannon is out with a concussion, giving way for backup La’Adrian Waddle, who’s allowed eight pressures in 78 pass blocking snaps (about one in every 10). 

So the opportunities will be there for Mack, Leonard Floyd, Akiem Hicks and the Bears’ pass rush to affect Brady on Sunday.

A bigger injury concern?

While cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring) was a full participant in Friday’s practice and will play Sunday, slot corner Bryce Callahan suffered an ankle injury during Thursday’s practice and did not participate Friday. He’s officially questionable for Sunday. 

Callahan “did his ankle,” Nagy said, toward the end of Thursday’s practice, and he felt worse as the day went on. Nagy characterized Callahan’s absence from Friday’s practice as “precautionary.”

Callahan’s availability may be more of a pressing concern than Mack’s, given how well the Patriots’ offense has played since slot receiver Julian Edelman returned from a four-game suspension to begin the season. While his numbers aren’t eye-popping (11 catches on 16 targets, 111 yards, 1 TD), New England’s offense has scored 38 and 43 points in his two games back. 

“Brady has always had a guy in the slot that he’s comfortable with; whether it be (Wes) Welker, (Danny) Amendola or Edelman,” Fangio said. “It’s a big part of their offense. They haven’t missed a beat, but I really think it’s helped their offense and played a big part in them basically averaging 40 points in the last three weeks. I really appreciate and respect how good of a player he is and has been.”

If Callahan isn’t available, Sherrick McManis could be the next man up at slot corner.