The Chicago Bears have officially set their roster, narrowing the team’s talented selection of players down to 53. The Bears were one of several teams that chose to rest the great majority of their starters this preseason, giving their coaching staff increased opportunities to see what kind of talent they have at each position.
The deadline has passed, the coaches have made their decisions, and while the majority of the team’s cuts were expected, some releases still surprised fans. Here is the current Chicago Bears official 53-man roster for the 2019 NFL season:
Quarterback: Mitchel Trubisky, Chase Daniel
Cut: Tyler Bray
The Bears are doing the same thing this year that they did in 2018: they’re going with two quarterbacks on the roster, and this likely will not change unless Trubisky would have to miss time. When that happened last season, Bray was called up from the practice squad, which is his likely destination.
Running Back: Tarik Cohen, Mike Davis, David Montgomery, Kerrith Whyte Jr.
Cuts: Ryan Nall, Josh Caldwell
Nall has been a preseason standout this season and last, but after drafting rookie David Montgomery and signing Mike Davis this offseason, the Bears added depth to their running back room, and Nall couldn’t quite crack the roster.
White has shown flashes in the return game this preseason, and his speed is a tremendous asset to the team. Should Tarik Cohen go down with an injury (knock on wood, Bears fans), White would be his likely replacement, as he is also well-suited to catch passes.
Wide Receiver: Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, Taylor Gabriel, Cordarrelle Patterson, Riley Ridley, Javon Wims
Cuts: Tanner Gentry, Marvin Hall, Jordan Williams-Lambert, Thomas Ives, Joe Walker
The Bears are stacked at this position, and there are no surprises here. Look for Gentry and Williams-Lambert to make the practice squad. Marvin Hall had a shot at the roster, but he didn’t produce as much as he needed to in order to stand out amongst this group, which is the strongest the Bears have been at the position in a long time.
Hall reportedly thought that because the Bears sat him for their final preseason game, it meant his status with them was more certain than it was–but it’s also likely that the Bears night have sat him during the final preseason game to keep him from getting hurt so he would be healthy enough to play elsewhere:
Tight End: Trey Burton, Adam Shaheen, Ben Braunecker, Bradley Sowell
Cuts: Ian Bunting, Ellis Richardson, Jesper Horsted
The Bears have decided to go with four tight ends this season. Newly converted tight end Sowell made the cut, while preseason standouts Jesper Horsted and Ian Bunting showed potential. Bunting was placed in IR, while Horsted will likely make the practice squad.
Sowell and Shaheen will serve as the Y-tight ends in Nagy’s system while Burton and Braunecker will be the U-tight ends. Look for the impressive Horsted or Raymond to be next in line.
Offensive Line: Kyle Long, Cody Whitehair, James Daniels, Charles Leno Jr., Bobby Massie, Ted Larsen, Rashaad Coward, Cornelius Lucas
Cut: Alex Bars, Sam Mustipher, Blake Blackman, Jordan McCray, Marquez Tucker, Joe Lowery
The Bears will bring back the same starting five on offensive line that they had last season, providing third year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with some continuity. Larsen is a veteran who has played with the team before, and he will be a solid backup. Bars, the undrafted free agent from Notre Dame, has been one of the Bears’ more pleasant surprises this preseason. His release has been the biggest surprise of all.
With the Bears putting TJ Clemmings on IR, and Rashaad Coward also dealing with an injury, Bars has stepped up and displayed both versatility and durability this preseason–and the Bears need both on their offensive line. The team went with veteran Cornelius Lucas instead, which may or may not work out.
Specialists: Pat O’ Donnell, (P) Eddy Piñeiro, (K) Patrick Scales (LS).
Cut: John Wirtel, long snapper
After booting a 58-yard field goal in the Bears’ third preseason game and recovering from a missed extra point to go 3-3 on field goals in the Bears’ final preseason game, Piñeiro solidified his job as the team’s starting kicker. O’Donnell and Scales were always pretty much locks.
The only question remaining is whether they found their guy in Piñeiro. Matt Nagy recently said that he and the team were going to be patient with his young kicker. “If I don’t have patience at that position, I really think we’re chasing the cat’s tail and that’s not what I’m feeling,” he said. Piñeiro’s new teammates certainly think his swagger fits in on a team overflowing with it. Time will tell, but right now, he certainly seems like a fit.
Defensive Line: Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Bilal Nichols, Roy Robertson-Harris, Nick Williams, Abdullah Anderson
Cuts: Jonathan Bullard, Jonathan Harris, Jalen Dalton, Daryle Banfield
The release of Bullard may have come as a surprise to some, but Nick Williams had an excellent preseason and earned his spot on the roster:
Bullard was drafted by the Bears in the third round of the 2016 draft, but he never developed into the started he was projected to be. Williams, on the other hand, has made his presence felt, and deserves the spot over Bullard. Abdullah Anderson has also had some impressive moments this preseason, showing potential to develop into a solid pass rusher while displaying an ability to stop the run. Anderson was a surprise, but he could be a pleasant one.
Inside Linebacker: Danny Trevathan, Roquan Smith, Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Nick Kwiatkoski, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Josh Woods
Cut: Jameer Thurman
Inside linebacker was one of three key positions coach Matt Nagy said he’d be looking at towards the end of preseason, and it looks like he has found some decent depth there. Woods is a solid player with play-making ability who should also contribute on special teams.
Pierre-Louis and Woods are young and a bit raw, but should bring a nice dynamic to the team.
Outside Linebacker: Khalil Mack, Leonard Floyd, Aaron Lynch, Isiah Irving
Cuts: Kylie Fitts, Matt Betts, Chuck Harris
Journeyman James Vaughters has been one of the more pleasant surprises, making an impact in nearly every preseason game. With Aaron Lynch playing in the Bears’ fourth preseason game after sitting for each of the first three, the depth chart gets a bit murky after Mack and Floyd. Irving will be a contributor on special teams again, and he and Lynch should compete for the third and fourth slots, depth-wise.
Vaughters, who had games with back-to-back strip sacks this preseason, seemed like an excellent fit for the Bears defense, so it was surprising when he was released. Fitts, who the Bears drafted in the sixth round in last year’s draft, never developed into the pass rusher they hoped he would.
Safety: Eddie Jackson, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Deon Bush, Sherrick McManis, DeAndre Houston-Carson
Cut: Doyin Jibowu
With All Pro Eddie Jackson and new acquisition Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the Bears depth at safety is impressive. Bush has had an excellent preseason and McManis is a solid veteran presence who is always a force on special teams.
DeAndre Houston-Carson, drafted in 2016 by the Bears in the sixth round, will also contribute to special teams.
Cornerback: Kyle Fuller, Prince Amukamara, Buster Skrine, Kevin Tolliver II, Duke Shelley
Cuts: Clifton Duck, Stephen Denmark, John Franklin III, Michael Joseph
This may have been the most difficult group to judge because of the flashes so many of these young players have shown this preseason. Duck, an exciting young player, was preseason fan favorite, but his size and inexperience likely kept him off the roster. He’s a likely candidate for the practice squad.
Franklin III and seventh-round draft pick Denmark also had good showings this preseason, and are likely in competition with each other for a spot alongside Duck on the practice squad. Duke Shelley, a promising rookie out of Kansas State, made the team and could be groomed to replace Prince Amukamara in the future.