Chicago Bears: 3 Players who must improve in Week 2 preseason game

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Chicago Bears, Joel Iyiegbuniwe
Chicago Bears – Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports /

Chicago Bears player who must improve: Joel Iyiegbuniwe

It is quite clear that the Chicago Bears do not trust fourth-year linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe to be a serviceable backup to Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan anymore. They brought in veterans Christian Jones and Alec Ogletree to bring much-needed depth and experience to the roster behind the starters.

“Iggy” was drafted for his athleticism and tackling, but he has not been able to carve out a role for himself. He now finds himself at the back end of the interior linebacker depth chart and could be cut if he does not pick up his play.

Interestingly enough, last year the Bears chose to play Manti T’eo over Iyiegbuniwe in the playoff matchup versus the Saints last year. That goes to show how the Bears have slowly moved away from Iggy. Now, with the stellar play of Alec Ogletree, things are getting even more bleak for the young linebacker. He will most likely get a lot of playing time against the Bills so he needs to make the most of it.

Joel Iyiegbuniwe has played at least 15 games in the last three years, which speaks to his durability and reliability as a depth piece. With lots of injuries at linebacker the last couple of years, his health is an asset for him and might help with staying on as a third-stringer.

Right now the backups behind the two starters are Josh Woods and Christian Jones. Alec Ogletree is pushing for one of those spots, and might possibly get it over Woods, who also needs to step up this preseason. There is little room for error for Iyiegbuniwe as he fights to not get cut. With the new veteran additions to the linebacking core, he will have to have a strong showing in the next two games to hold his spot on the team.