We’re all set for the Bears’ final preseason game against the Cleveland Browns. None of the starters or key reserves are expected to play, but there are still reasons to watch. As a matter of fact, I think I found Five of them.
5. Michael Ford vs Armando Allen
Michael Ford has made a push to take the third running back spot from Allen, who has been sidelined by an injury. It looks like Allen will play, so the competition is back on. Allen has the experience on special teams, but Ford has been making big plays. Who will grab that last spot?
4. Brandon Hardin
Phil Emery spent a third round draft pick on Hardin, who missed his senior season due to injury. He topped that by getting hurt in the preseason last year, so he’s coming off two straight years without football. The rust has shown. He’d better lather up with Rustoleum and make one last push to grab a roster spot or Emery will have no choice but to knock off yet another member of the Class of 2012. Hardin is currently behind Major Wright, Chris Conte, Craig Steltz for sure. Anthony Walters seems to have the 4th spot sewn up. After that, it’s a crapshoot if the Bears will keep another safety. If they do, it could be between Hardin and local kid Tom Nelson.
3. Fendi Onobun vs The Ball
Tight End Fendi Onobun has drawn a lot of attention this preseason. It started with the hype coming out of OTA’s and how good and athletic he looked. Early in camp, the former college basketball player was making impressive play and drawing more praise. Then the real action started. I don’t think I’ve seen that many drops since Kellen Davis split town. If Onobun can’t catch, he doesn’t do much good on this team.
2. Jordan Palmer and Trent Edwards
Matt Blanchard’s injury and subsequent release has complicated the back end of the Bears quarterback situation. Cutler and McCown are solid as the top two and the third spot, if they choose to keep three QB’s, is wide open. The Bears brought a couple of veterans to help them get through this game and audition for a spot.
I think that they might end up picking up a practice-squad eligible quarterback after cutdowns and let both Palmer and Edwards walk. If either can impress Trestman, maybe the Bears shuffle their roster around a keep one?
1. J’Webb Nation’s Last Stand?
This could be the last time you see J’Marcus Webb in a Bears uniform. He had a rough outing going against backups in Oakland and many think he looks like he’s mailed it in. If you assume the Bears will keep 8 offensive linemen, you’ve got three reserve spots up for grabs. James Brown appears to be a lock as a backup interior lineman. Eben Britton is very versatile and could play any spot in a pinch. That leaves one spot open. That should come down to Jonathan Scott, who has basically taken the entire month of August off to recover from a knee injury. What does it say about Webb if a guy on one leg beats him out?
What do you think? What will you be looking for in the last preseason game? Will you even bother? If you don’t want to suffer through it, don’t worry. We’ll watch every play and give you a full report on the action.