The Chicago Bears have cut 14 players so far, and another 22 will be slashed by Saturday. The Bears final roster cuts will undoubtedly include familiar names, but who is considered on the bubble?
The one name that has been on the tongues of Bears fans, coaches, and on sports talk radio is J’Marcus Webb. The former 7th round pick was removed from the starting right tackle job, and has since played like a player bound to be cut. His one saving grace is that fellow offensive tackle Jonathan Scott is hurt, and there is no concrete decision on whether or not he could play week one after arthroscopic knee surgery. If Scott cannot play immediately, Webb will stick as the team’s swing tackle until a return to health.
Another Bears final roster cut talking heads discussed was Devin Hester. However, it appears his spot is safe. Hester has remained positive during the summer and has shown the smaller role is one he could take advantage of come game day. The player most negatively affected by Hester’s acceptance of a smaller role is Eric Weems. The KR/WR has spent a lot of time late in preseason games making his case as a depth receiver.
Chicago has a number of players capable of being return specialists, so unless Weems has an amazing game against the Cleveland Browns Thursday, he could be one of the 22 final cuts.
Chicago has a number of safeties and tight ends left to choose from. Craig Steltz, Tom Nelson, and 2012 3rd round pick Brandon Hardin are considered bubble players in the secondary. Hardin has yet to crack the second team defense in the preseason. The Bears also need to consider adding another cornerback if Zach Bowman’s hamstring injury lingers. The next man up, Sherrick McManis, has played limited snaps in regular season games.
Leonard Pope and Gabe Miller were the two tight ends cut Monday, but another could also get his walking papers. The obvious choice would be Fendi Onobun (or Onobus, Onthebench). Onobun has been given every chance to show his ability to catch the ball off the line, and has seemingly failed every time. His height, blocking, and capability to get open are well documented, but if you cannot catch the ball when open, opposing defenses will leave you open.
Fullback Tony Fiammetta may also be sent packing if the Bears coaching staff prefers a tight end lined up as the H-back.
Word came out Tuesday that an injury settlement was agreed upon with QB Matt Blanchard. He can re-sign with the Bears after week 10, or sign elsewhere. The Wisconsin-Whitewater product suffered a broken hand and his roster spot will be filled by either Jordan Palmer or Trent Edwards.
Something to remember: eight rookies/practice squad-eligible players can be added to the practice squad once final cuts are made.
The names mentioned above carry weight with fans. The remaining Bears final roster cuts that will actually remain after this weekend could very well be ones that fans may have to get used to.
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