Chicago Bears Practice Squad Projections
We take a truly deep dive and project all ten members of the Chicago Bears Practice Squad.
The Chicago Bears have wrapped up their preseason and are ready to cut down to the final 53-man roster on Saturday. While a crushing blow is about to occur to 37 members of the Bears preseason roster, for 10 of them, they’ll have a chance to continue their NFL dreams with the Bears as members of their practice squad.
Projecting the practice squad is a challenge. Once players are released on Saturday, any team can sign them to their 53-man roster. The only way a player finds their way to Chicago is if no other team feels they are worthy of their active roster. Most cuts do clear, but there’s always a chance that a couple of them get scooped up. The Bears really haven’t this problem in years, but there is a chance that this year, a couple of their practice squad stashes end up elsewhere.
For the purpose of this projection, we will use these 53-man roster projections as the foundation to these predictions.
Kylie Fitts, OLB
Fitts was the biggest surprise off the projection to not make the team, but have no fear, he will make it through waivers. He looked good against 3rd and 4th string competition, but when he faced off against better players, he didn’t look sharp. Combine that with inconsistent play and sub par athleticism, Fitts misses the 53-man but finds his way onto the practice squad.
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Jordan Morgan, G
The Bears thought they might have found a real sleeper in Morgan in the fifth round of last year’s draft. Morgan was a project out of Kutztown University and the Bears red-shirted him last year with a season long injury.
Morgan got a fair shake in the preseason, but wasn’t able to separate himself from the rest of the offensive lineman. He showed some ability and does a good job staying in front of his defender but he seems to struggle with drive and sealing his blocks consistently. Morgan gets another year of seasoning, this time on the practice squad.
Will Pericak, G
With the Bears keeping both Coward and Sowell (tackles) on the 53-man roster, the Bears will need a little more guard depth on the practice squad. Pericak has bounced around practice squads for years, and he appears to have a little more eligibility left. If that is the case, Pericak should definitely make the practice squad after a strong camp and preseason. In fact, if the Bears have an injury to one of their interior offensive lineman, Pericak would almost certainly get called up to the active roster before Morgan.
Demarcus Ayers, WR
Ayers is another player with a nice camp. He showed some flashes in preseason as well. Ayers showed enough ability that if he was with the makeshift group of Bears’ WRs last year, he would have made the active roster, but with a much improved unit, Ayers gets left out.
With some additional special teams abilities, Ayers is a sensible stash here and could play both special teams and even some offensive snaps if the Bears have an injury to the wide receiving corps.
Cavon Walker, DL
Walker has looked very good in several different moments during the preseason. If anything, Walker should make the team thanks to his nice little dance moves after his sack the other night. Walker has shown some versatility along the defensive line and has shown some ability in both the pass rush and run stopping aspects of his game.
Walker isn’t just a stash to help along the defensive line during practice, he’s a true developmental player that will have a definite chance to make the 53-man roster next summer.
Ryan Nall, RB
Yes, Bears fans, you can relax, Nall will find his way to the practice squad, He’s had a very nice camp and had some moments during the preseason, but most of his best plays came against lower competition. Nall has some versatility and should be able to play FB as well (his best spot in the future) and can also contribute on special teams.
The bottom line right now for Nall is that he isn’t far enough along as a fullback to supplant Michael Burton on the 53. Matt Nagy likes to utilize a fullback so he will want the more polished Burton. Nall will not make the 53 but probably has the best chance to be called up to the active roster during the season out of this group.
Michael Joseph, CB
Joseph has had a really nice camp and has shown plenty of ability during the preseason. In my first projections, I had him making the 53-man roster, but the play of Doran Grant has surpassed him the last couple weeks.
Joseph showed that he could be a developmental player on this team that could get a call up during the season if they need some help at cornerback.
Kevin Toliver, CB
It may seem strange to keep two cornerbacks on the practice squad, but the Bears have two guys with an excellent chance of a future in the NFL. Toliver was a talented prospect out of LSU that was a draft-level talent, but other issues pushed him out of the draft completely and the Bears signed him as a UDFA.
Toliver is the type of talent that could get swiped by another team, but he didn’t show enough flash in the preseason for a team to make the leap to 53-man roster. That being said, Toliver is definitely on the bubble and there is a chance that he could beat out Grant, if for any reason, for the one mentioned above, if the Bears think he might get snapped if the waive him.
Nick Orr, S
Orr has not had a spectacular camp but he has been solid and will be helped by the Bears current situation at safety. DeAndre Houston-Carson is dealing with a broken arm and it seems that Deiondre Hall is headed for the exit sooner rather than later after being suspended by the NFL for a game.
If Hall doesn’t make the team, the Bears will not have a lot of depth at safety and keeping Orr on the practice squad to make sure they have another body in a pinch seems like the smart thing to do when constructing the practice squad.
Elijah Norris, OLB
The Bears last practice squad spot is a difficult one. Nick Williams has had a nice camp but is out of eligibility. The Bears could use another inside backer but John Timu is no longer eligible and it’s hard to make a case for him to stay on the active 53.
Norris has shown some flashes as a potential pass rusher in his opportunities and being the Bears second edge spot is such a mess and Leonard Floyd has a history of injuries, keeping another edge along with Fitts makes sense.