Chicago Bears: 2021 53-man roster projection heading into training camp

Chicago Bears - Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Bears, Akiem Hicks
Chicago Bears (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports) /

Predicting the Chicago Bears 53-man roster: Defensive Line

We will now shift over to the defense after keeping 26 players on offense. Last season the team kept five defensive linemen and I have them doing the same this season. Akiem Hicks is in the final year of his contract and not likely to return in 2022 as he turns 32 years old this year. Bilal Nichols came on strong in 2021 with five sacks and looks to build on that again as he enters the final year of his contract.

There was concern about Eddie Goldman not returning as he was an unexcused absence from mandatory OTAs earlier this summer. All reports are that Goldman is to be back though for training camp after opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns. The team added Mike Pennel in free agency as an insurance policy though. The Chicago Bears also brought back Mario Edwards after a solid 2020 campaign.

The rest of the depth at defensive line is mostly undrafted free agents. The lone exception is the 2021 sixth-round pick Khyiris Tonga. This position group is fairly easy to figure out though as the only key players the team lost are Roy Robertson-Harris and Brent Urban.

As of now, the Chicago Bears will be keeping five defensive linemen on the roster.

  • Akiem Hicks
  • Eddie Goldman
  • Bilal Nichols
  • Mario Edwards
  • Mike Pennel