Aug 24, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Chicago Bears helmets during the second half against the New York Giants at Metlife Stadium. The Bears won the game 20-17 Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears still have to get through their last preseason game before cutting down the roster to 53. Many of the players are already locks to make the roster while a few bubble players will be fighting for their professional football lives. Let’s see how the offensive side of the roster is expected to shake out.
Jay Cutler is as locked as locked can be.
Josh McCown will serve as the #2.
The Bears will audition Jordan Palmer and Trent Edwards extensively on Thursday night, but I’m not counting on either making the roster. Phil Emery will have their numbers on speed dial in case of emergency. I don’t think Matt Blanchard makes the cut and will either go on IR or will be waived to try to bring him back to the practice squad.
Running Backs (4)
Matt Forte will serve as the primary running back and is poised to have a monster season in Marc Trestman’s offense.
Michael Bush will serve as Forte’s backup and could continue as a touchdown vulture in red zone and short yardage situations.
Michael Ford will overtake Armando Allen as the third running back thanks to his solid performances in the preseason. His ability 0n special teams will need to improve to keep his spot and dress on Sundays.
I am projecting the Bears will keep fullback Tony Fiametta, who has performed well in the preseason.
Wide Receivers (5)
Oct 7, 2012; Jacksonville FL, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) congratulates wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) after he scored on a 10-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. The Bears won 41-3. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
Since the Bears are keeping Devin Hester as a specialist, I think they only keep 5 wide receivers. Lock down Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery as the #1 and #2 respectively. They are expected to have big seasons under Trestman.
Despite his concussion issues and high price tag, Earl Bennett will make the team. He is really well suited to play in the slot and his relationship with Cutler helps him stick around.
Joe Anderson has had an outstanding offseason and his contributions to special teams late last season will help him secure a roster spot.
The fifth and final spot is up for grabs in my eyes. I think seventh rounder Marquess Wilson ends up as the stretch the field receiver, but he has a lack of experience on special teams could put him at a disadvantage when compared to a veteran like Eric Weems. Wilson’s upside gives him the edge. Brittan Golden, Josh Lenz and Terrence Toliver are headed for the street.