Emma: Projecting Bears' initial 53-man roster


(670 The Score) After completing a training camp filled with competition, the Bears must cut their roster to the 53-man limit by 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Of course, there figures to be significant activity on the waiver wires in the days that follow Tuesday. The Bears own the seventh slot in the waiver claim order and are expected to be busy. With all that in mind, here's our projection for the Bears' initial 53-man roster.

Note: The Bears will almost certainly fill out their 16-man practice squad with many of the players whom they release this week. Waiver claims begin at 11 a.m. CT Wednesday.

Quarterback (2) -- Justin Fields, Trevor Siemian
Cuts (1) -- Nathan Peterman

There’s no quarterback conundrum for the Bears this season, with Fields locked in as the starter in his second NFL season and the veteran Siemian set as the backup.

Running back (4) -- David Montgomery, Khalil Herbert, Trestan Ebner, Darrynton Evans
Cuts (1) -- De’Montre Tuggle

The Bears will likely split up their backfield workload in 2022 under new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, and they like how the group has performed during training camp. Evans projects to secure one of the final roster spots available.

Fullback (1) -- Khari Blasingame
Cuts (1) -- Jake Tonges

The Bears have a fullback in their offensive plans, with the veteran Blasingame getting the nod over the undrafted rookie H-back Tonges, who's a practice squad candidate.

Wide receiver (7) -- Darnell Mooney, Equanimeous St. Brown, Velus Jones Jr., Dante Pettis, Byron Pringle, N’Keal Harry, Nsimba Webster
Cuts (3) -- Chris Finke, Isaiah Coulter, Tajae Sharpe

There’s a lot going on at receiver. Rostering seven receivers is a preliminary number, as Harry (ankle) is likely to land on injured reserve Wednesday and isn't expected to return until midseason. Pringle (quad) could land on the physically-unable-to-perform list given his extended absence and need to ramp up. Mooney, St. Brown, Jones and Pettis are in line to be the top targets for Fields, though there’s likely to be a player or two added at this position through waivers.

Tight end (3) -- Cole Kmet, Ryan Griffin, James O’Shaughnessy
Cuts (1) -- Chase Allen

The Bears are fairly comfortable at tight end, with Griffin and O’Shaugnessy representing depth behind Kmet.

Offensive line (8) -- Braxton Jones, Cody Whitehair, Lucas Patrick, Sam Mustipher, Teven Jenkins, Larry Borom, Riley Reiff, Michael Schofield III
Cuts (6): Ja’Tyre Carter, Shon Coleman, Corey Dublin, Dieter Eiselen, Lachavious Simmons, Zachary Thomas

In late July, Jenkins’ place on the Bears’ initial roster seemed precarious. Now he’s in line to start at right guard. The veterans Reiff and Schofield are suddenly on the bubble, and the Bears should be able to get Carter, Eiselen and Thomas onto their practice squad. This is another position group to watch as it relates to waiver claims.

Defensive line (9) -- Robert Quinn, Justin Jones, Al-Quadin Muhammad, Trevis Gipson, Dominique Robinson, Angelo Blackson, Khyiris Tonga, Mario Edwards Jr., Mike Pennel
Cuts (3) -- Micah Dew-Treadway, Charles Snowden, Trevon Coley

The Bears appear to have a strong, established defensive line in coach Matt Eberflus’ first season. Pennel projects to be one of the last players to make the initial roster. All three defensive line cuts would be strong candidates to land on the practice squad.

Linebacker (6) -- Roquan Smith, Nick Morrow, Matt Adams, Joe Thomas, Caleb Johnson, Jack Sanborn
Cuts (1) -- DeMarquis Gates

Smith's return after his contract hold-in means the Bears have stability and clarity at linebacker entering the regular season. Thomas, Johnson and Sanborn bring depth and special teams value.

Cornerback (5) -- Jaylon Johnson, Kyler Gordon, Kindle Vildor, Lamar Jackson, Greg Stroman Jr.
Cuts (4): Tavon Young, Duke Shelley, Jaylon Jones, Thomas Graham

Jackson and Stroman have earned their place on the roster with strong showings in training camp, while Young and Graham miss out after injury-plagued camps. The Bears should be active on waivers exploring depth at cornerback.

Safety (5) -- Eddie Jackson, Jaquan Brisker, DeAndre Houston-Carson, Dane Cruikshank, Elijah Hicks
Cuts (3): A.J. Thomas, Davontae Harris, Jon Alexander

Jackson and Brisker are set as the starters at safety, while Houston-Carson and Cruikshank offer depth and will play a key role in special teams. A seventh-round pick, Hicks came on strong late in training camp and showcased promise.

Special teams (3) -- Cairo Santos, Trenton Gill, Patrick Scales

The Bears are set with their special teams battery.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.

Listen live to 670 The Score via:
Audacy App  |  Online Stream  |  Smart Speaker

Featured Image Photo Credit: Jamie Sabau/USA Today Sports