Chicago Bears Roster Preview: Ka’Deem Carey Days


With training camp and one preseason game in the books, the 2015 Chicago Bears are starting to round into form. There’s still a few weeks left before they start the season against the hated Green Bay Packers, and we’re continuing our review of the current roster. Up next is a dual review of two players sporting the number 25 (a few days late), running back Ka’Deem Carey and cornerback Tracy Porter.

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Let’s start with Carey, a 2014 fourth round draft pick out of the University of Arizona who boasted a pair of outstanding seasons in his final two years of college, coming close both years to topping 2,000 yards.

A tough back with decent but not game-breaking speed and solid hands, Carey figured to be the primary reserve back for the Chicago Bears in 2014. The problem, though, is that when you never run the ball, you don’t really need a reserve back too often.

That was the problem facing Carey and the Bears in 2014, and he picked up little experience during the season. He carried the ball only 36 times for 158 yards, a 4.4 yard-per-carry average, barely enough to even register on most Bears fans’ radar.

Nov 16, 2014; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins cornerback Tracy Porter (22) breaks up a pass intended for Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Louis Murphy (18) in the second quarter at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Porter, meanwhile, is best known for his interception and touchdown against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. The Bears picked him up in the offseason, looking to bolster their depth at cornerback, particularly in the slot, where his diminutive size wouldn’t be as much of a detriment.

Since leaving New Orleans following the 2011 season, Porter’s been a nomad, playing first with Denver in 2012, then in Oakland in 2013, then last year in Washington. He missed significant time in Denver and Washington, and collected only three interceptions between 2012-2014.

Porter played in only three games last year, battling a hamstring injury before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury.

What to expect from Carey, Porter in 2015

Both players have potential to be large contributors for the Chicago Bears in 2015, but they both face stiff competition to get on the field.

Let’s start on offense again. Carey is in a three-way race with veteran Jacquizz Rodgers and rookie Jeremy Langford to be starting running back Matt Forte’s primary backup. Going into the season, I thought Carey might be the odd man out, but he had a stellar first preseason game, ripping off a 21-yard run and showing the ability to cut outside at the goal line on a nifty fourth-and-goal conversion. He ended the game with 34 yards on seven carries.

With Langford looking unimpressive in his first NFL action, Carey scored the first points in the fight to backup Forte. Rodgers also looked good, but there’s enough sample size with Rodgers – who has been in the league since 2011 – to doubt he’s anything more than a third-down back who can occasionally spell runners earlier in a series.

It’s way too early to tell if Carey will even make the roster – he was drafted by the prior regime, and has some uphill sledding this preseason to prove he’s worth keeping this season – but if he can keep playing this well in the preseason, I’d look for him to be one of four backs the Bears keep.

As for Porter, he didn’t see any action in the first preseason game against Miami, as he was sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Though there’s certainly openings on defense at cornerback, Porter may be in some trouble. If he can’t get healthy, he’s not a good enough player to deserve a roster spot while he heals. Kyle Fuller, Alan Ball and Tim Jennings are locks, and I would put Sherrick McManis on that list, as well. Al Louis-Jean, even after a bad first preseason game, has a good chance to make the team because he has the size to cover receivers outside. The team could pick up another veteran after teams make cuts later in preseason who can at least get on the field.

My guess is Porter makes the roster, but if he keeps missing time with nagging hamstring injuries, then the Bears will have a tough decision to make. I haven’t found any reports as to whether he’ll play Sunday in the preseason game against the Colts, but the bottom line is Porter has to get out there and prove that he can play and stay healthy, or the Bears should look elsewhere.

Next: Change at Free Safety for Bears

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