3 under-the-radar training camp battles for the Chicago Bears
The official start of the Chicago Bears training camp started this week. This past Saturday, rookies and quarterbacks reported. Then the team officially started camp on September 27, 2022, with a private practice. The 28th, today, will be the first training camp practice open up to the public. The team will host 11 practices that will be open to the public and four private practices. The team will also hold their annual Family Fest on August 9, 2022, for $10 per ticket.
As of now, the roster is full at 90 players. However, the Chicago Bears and other NFL teams must start reducing the roster based on the following dates:
- August 16: Cut from 90 to 85 players
- August 23: Cut from 85 to 80 players
- August 30: Cut from 80 to final 53 players
Of course, there will also be room on the practice squad for some of the castoffs who do not make the final 53-man roster. NFL teams can now hold up to 16 players on their practice squads. This was increased in 2019 with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that specified an increase from only 10 players. The CBA specified a gradual increase from 10 to 12 and then another increase from 12 to 14 in two years. However, with COVID-19, the league decided to bypass the gradual increase and made the decision to increase it to 16 almost immediately.
You can read more about all the practice squad rules here.
When we look at the Chicago Bears roster, there are plenty of important training camp battles to focus on. However, there are three training camp battles that are going a little under the radar.
The Chicago Bears have a defensive end battle to watch during training camp
Some already believe that Trevis Gipson has the defensive end position locked up on the opposite side of Robert Quinn. Others believe it will be Al-Quadin Muhammad who will start opposite Quinn. However, this battle is going to need to play out more during training camp and throughout the preseason.
Muhammad has a connection and is more familiar with Matt Eberflus’ and Al Williams’ defensive scheme. Gipson might be the more talented player though. Personally, I find that talent eventually wins out. That might not mean that Gipson is your Week 1 starter, but I believe his splash plays on gameday will guarantee he earns that starting spot within the first few weeks of the year.
We should also mention the addition of the rookie defensive end, Dominique Robinson. Robinson is raw and will need some time to develop, but the backend of the roster will also have a battle to watch between Robinson and Charles Snowden.
Assuming Robert Quinn is not traded, Quinn and Gipson (giving it to him early) start Week 1, while Muhammad and Robinson are the two backups. Snowden will be fifth on this list and only makes the final 53-man roster if the team keeps five ends.