53-Man Roster Projection: Linebackers

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22: Leonard Floyd
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22: Leonard Floyd /

What linebackers should fans expect on the opening 53-man roster? We take a closer look.

The Chicago Bears linebacking corps is an interesting group. There are some obvious locks, but there are certain spots on the roster that are wide open. The Bears appear that they are pretty well set at the inside linebacker positions, but their edge spot or outside linebacker spot appears to be wide open in a lot of ways. Who will fill out the roster at linebacker? Let’s take a look.

First of all, let’s start on the inside. Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan are locks as is Nick Kwiatkoski. Joel Iyiegbuniwe just got on the field after dealing with an injury, so it looked like, a few days ago, that he might have been on his way to having a “redshirt” year where the Bears shut him down for the year, but he’s on the field now, and it’s pretty safe that he’ll be on the active 53. One, he should be a big help on special teams, and two, John Timu and Jon Anderson have done very little to show they deserve a spot on the 53.

At outside linebacker, there are only two locks, Leonard Floyd and Sam Acho. The fact that Acho is a lock shows the major problems this edge position is for the defense. Isaiah Irving has had a strong camp and an excellent performance in the Hall of Fame game. While Irving isn’t a lock, it certainly seems that his spot on the 53 is safe.

That gives us 7 linebackers. Odds are the Bears will keep 9, especially with the uncertainty at the edge and the fact that Floyd and Trevathan have struggled with injuries over their careers. Kylie Fitts is a sixth round pick who in theory could get the “redshirt” or possibly end up on the practice squad, but truthfully, with the edge spot as weak as it is, odds are Fitts makes the team as well.

More from Bear Goggles On

That last spot is definitely up for grabs. Kasim Edebali has had a strong camp and is making a claim for this roster spot. If the Bears cut him, there’s a chance that another team will scoop him up based on his camp, but perhaps the Bears will hope he floats out there and they can bring him back.

Aaron Lynch is the obvious name for that last spot, but Lynch has failed to step on the field yet throughout training camp. Coming off two down seasons, it’s hard to imagine that Lynch would make the team with no practice time at all. He still has a week or so to get on the field before it almost becomes pointless for him to even practice prior to the start of the season.

If Lynch can’t get on the field and the Bears decide to go another direction, it would appear that Edebali would be the ninth LB to make the 53, but for this projection, we go outside the box.

Lamarr Houston.

Houston is still a free agent and hasn’t seemingly gotten many looks from other teams. Houston isn’t great, especially at this point in his career, but he’s a competent pass rusher who knows the defensive scheme well. As long as Houston is in shape, the Bears can sign him off the street right before week one and he’ll be ready to be a situational rusher against the Packers.

Next. Chicago Bears: 53-Man Roster Prediction: Defensive Line. dark

If the Bears decide to bring in someone like Houston to fill out their roster, either Edebali or Fitts will be headed to the waiver wire, and at this point, despite a good camp, it’s probably Edebali.

53-Man Roster Prediction: LINEBACKERS (9): Leonard Floyd, Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan, Sam Acho, Nick Kwiatkoski, Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Isaiah Irving, Kylie Fitts, Lamarr Houston