55 Days Until Chicago Bears 2017 Season Kicks Off: Hroniss Grasu Profile

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 22: Hroniss Grasu
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 22: Hroniss Grasu /

The Bear Goggles On Countdown to Kickoff series is now underway. With 55 days to go until the Bears season kicks off we will highlight the Bears player that is wearing number 55, center Hroniss Grasu.

CHICAGO, IL – NOVEMBER 22: Hroniss Grasu
CHICAGO, IL – NOVEMBER 22: Hroniss Grasu /

2016 Season Review

The Bears had possibly the hardest luck season in the history of the franchise. With so many players suffering injuries and dealing with setbacks, nobody had a more difficult season (or lack there of) than Hroniss Grasu.

More from Bear Goggles On

Grasu was the Bears 3rd round pick in Ryan Pace’s first draft class back in 2015. Grasu started off on the bench, but when injuries forced him into a starting position, he had an up and down season. Grasu struggled with strength issues in 2015 but had bulked up and was penciled in as the Bears starting center for the 2016 season.

Grasu suffered a torn ACL on a Saturday afternoon scrimmage at Soldier Field in early August. If that wasn’t bad enough for Grasu, rookie Cody Whitehair slid from guard to center and became one of the top centers in the league as a rookie. The Bears also signed Josh Sitton to fortify their interior offensive line, but it has left Grasu with no chance at a starting position in 2017.

2017 Season Outlook

Grasu enters this season hungry to prove that he is a capable center and worthy of a starting position. While the only way he earns a starting position this season will be via injury, he still is out to prove he is recovered from his knee injury and can play, even if he is auditioning for other NFL teams.

Grasu’s roster spot isn’t guaranteed. Many question if Grasu has the ability to play guard, and if he’s limited to only the center position, would the Bears keep Grasu to back up Whitehair when they have someone like Eric Kush who can back up at both guard and center?

Future with Bears

Grasu’s future is very dependent on his performance in training camp. Grasu has two more years left on his rookie contract. If he looks sharp in training camp, the Bears will keep him on the roster as a sub. As 2018 rolls around, if Grasu definitely looks legitimate, the Bears could consider releasing Sitton (he has no more guaranteed money after this season) and moving Whitehair back to guard, but for the Bears to move Whitehair off a position he is thriving at, Grasu is going to have to prove that he is going to be a big-time center.

The other lineman complicating Grasu’s future is rookie Jordan Morgan. If Morgan becomes a legitimate option for the Bears at guard, that also could crowd the interior of the Bears interior offensive line and force Grasu out of Chicago. Too much competition is never a bad thing, but because of it, Grasu will have to prove that he’s the type of player the Bears thought they were getting when they drafted the All-American out of Oregon back in 2015.