Bears Cut 5 Players, Sign 2 in Flurry of Roster Moves

Michael Joseph

Getty Michael Joseph was one of the roster cuts for the Bears on August 16.

The Chicago Bears have trimmed their roster from 90 players down to 85 with a series of roster moves, the team announced on August 16.

The Bears waived injured safety Michael Joseph, along with linebacker Javin White, cornerback Jayson Stanley, tight end Rysen John and linebacker Noah Dawkins. Joseph was the longest-tenured of the group, joining the Bears as an undrafted free agent in May of 2018. He bounced around from the team’s practice squad to injured reserve over the past four seasons, appearing in just one NFL game in that span (in 2021).

Chicago also signed offensive lineman Corey Dublin and safety Jon Alexander, while placing rookie center Doug Kramer on injured reserve. The team is worried Kramer may have suffered a season-ending Lisfranc injury, but that diagnosis hasn’t been confirmed yet.

NFL insider Aaron Wilson tweeted that White tore his anterior cruciate ligament, which would likely end his 2022 campaign.

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Bears Have to Trim Roster to 80 on August 23

This is the first batch of what will be a slurry of roster moves for the Bears, who, like all other 32 teams, have to go from 85 players down to 80 by Tuesday, August 23. Chicago will have to set its 53-man roster a week after that, on Tuesday, August 30, so the cuts will keep on coming.

In the meantime, the Bears will surely still keep scouting the free agent market for available talent with an emphasis on offensive linemen, particularly in the wake of Kramer’s potentially serious injury. Chicago’s starting center, Lucas Patrick, is also out with a hand injury, and last season’s starter at the position, Sam Mustipher, was the only other center on the roster until Dublin was added.

Dublin played both center and guard at Tulane, so he should be getting a decent amount of snaps in the team’s final two preseason games.

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Bears in the Midst of O-Line Shuffle

Fifth-round rookie Braxton Jones is the team’s likely starter at left tackle, while veteran Cody Whitehair is holding down the fort at left guard. Mustipher will fill in for Patrick at center, and recent veteran free agent acquisition Riley Reiff should get the nod at right tackle.

Right guard is where things get interesting.

The Bears inked veteran guard Michael Schofied to a one-year deal heading into training camp, and Schofied entered the first preseason game as the favorite to win the RG slot, but that could be changing. After a shaky preseason performance against the Kansas City Chiefs, Schofield may be out and 2021 second-round pick Teven Jenkins may be in.

Chicago is moving the former tackle over to right guard, and early returns have been promising.

“You don’t put a ceiling on him,” Bears coach Matt Eberflus said about Jenkins after practice on August 16, via Courtney Cronin of ESPN. “Let him grow. Let him do his thing because some people mature and grow at different times. And all of a sudden, they just grow into a player, they grow into a really good NFL player. And that’s for any position. We’re never going to put ceilings on guys.”

If Jenkins grows at guard, it will be a significant step forward for the Bears, and it will show that the new regime led by Eberflus has the ability to bring out the best in its young players.

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