Football

Bears Preseason Week 4 Preview: THE BUBBLE

Ooooh, it’s roster cuts time! Now, I’m as bottom left politically as a person can get, so naturally I wish every single body in camp had a future playing professional football. However, until the NFL creates a legitimate minor league, roster cuts make me both sad and excited. Sure, lots of guys are ending their years or careers after Thursday’s game against Tennessee. The game itself is sure to be terrible, and I can’t imagine a worse way to spend my evening. You’ll see people you haven’t seen all preseason logging heavy minutes (bring on the skill position players who have single-digit jersey numbers!), and it will most assuredly be the worst football of the season for any fan that doesn’t routinely watch Washington or Miami play in the fall. So, before the game, I’m going to list some of the most intriguing bubble players/competitions to watch just in case you’re as desperate to kill a weeknight as I am and will be glued to the awful FOX broadcast.

Tight End: Ian Bunting, Dax Raymond, Ben Braunecker, Bradley Sowell, Jesper Horsted
Five guys, one roster spot (maybe two). Hate to say it, Bears fans, but I’m taking Braunecker to make the roster. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of these dudes make the practice squad.

Running Back/Wide Receiver: (I have to combine these because I think C-Patterson screws up how we look at the numbers for this part of the depth chart):
Kerrith Whyte Jr, Taquan Mizzell, Marvin Hall, Javon Wims, Riley Ridley, Ryan Nall.
I think Ryan Nall, Smoke Mizzell, and Marvin Hall all fail to make the team. Prove me wrong, Smoke!

Cornerback: Clifton Duck, John Franklin III, Kevin Toliver II, Michael Joseph, Stephen Denmark
I think there’s a chance to find our biggest surprises in terms of roster moves on defense, since who knows how Chuck Pagano wants his DBs to look/play like. We do know they will have to be versatile, since he asks his CBs to shadow receivers instead of play one side of the field like they would in Vic Fangio’s old scheme. If I was a betting man (I am), I’d expect to see Toliver make the 53, Denmark get stashed on the practice squad or PUP list, and what the hell, PUT JF3 ON THIS ROSTER!

Outside Linebacker: James Vaughters, Isaiah Irving, Kylie Fitts
To be honest, I don’t think the Bears will give up on any of their draft picks, even if it means cutting Vaughters. I’d like to see him make the team, and while he very well could, if he doesn’t he will for sure be on another team’s 53.

Inside Linebacker: Josh Woods, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Mathieu Betts
Josh Woods makes this team, y’all. He has been damn near unstoppable this preseason and has a nose for the ball. I can see him being a quality special teams coverage guy, and you can never have enough of those.

So, that’s about what I got in terms of what I’m looking for in the Tennessee game on Thursday. I’m honestly just looking to see who I can envision covering punts and kickoffs, because all the bubble guys that suit up on Sundays this fall will be there because they can play all four phases of special teams.

Okay, I’m not telling the whole truth. I’m also seeing who I should take in my XFL dynasty fantasy draft too. If you say Tanner Gentry I swear to god I will make you watch Tommie Harris film for 24 hours straight and write an essay titled “What Could Have Been.”

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