53 Days Until Chicago Bears Season Opener

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Aug 29, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mike Edwards (86) is tackled by Chicago Bears linebacker Jerry Franklin (53) during the second half at Soldier Field. The Browns beat the Bears 18-16. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

We had so much fun doing our Countdown to Kickoff series last season that we decided to do it again.  In case you’re new to the series, we’ll do a roster preview as we count down the days until the Chicago Bears September 7th season opener against the Buffalo Bills.

It’s 53 days until the Chicago Bears season opener, and that brings us to number 53 on the Bears’ roster.  There are currently two players wearing the number 53, so I’ll be doing a doubleheader of sorts.  I’ll start off with Jerry Franklin, but be sure to hit the page break to read all about Ryan Groy.

Jerry Franklin played his college ball at the University of Arkansas, where he posted some impressive numbers from 2008-2011.  His numbers were helped, however, by the fact that he played on a pretty bad Razorbacks defense that finished dead last in the SEC in 2009 and 2010.  Even with that disclaimer, Franklin’s play was impressive.

Franklin went undrafted in 2012 and was subsequently signed as an undrafted free agent by the Denver Broncos.  The 6-1 245 lb. linebacker is already somewhat of a journeyman in his brief NFL career, having spent time with the Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys before finding his way to the Bears’ practice squad in 2013.  He was promoted to the active roster after the Bears placed DJ Williams on IR last season.

Franklin has an uphill battle to make the Bears’ final roster this season and will likely have to earn his way on special teams.  With that in mind, I see his primary competition for a roster spot as undrafted rookie free agent Christian Jones and veteran free agent acquisition Jordan Senn.