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Who makes the team? Breaking down the Bears’ roster with cuts looming Saturday

Bears receiver Kevin White celebrates his touchdown catch Saturday. | Annie Rice, AP photo

Six weeks ago, the Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley handicapped the Bears’ 90-man squad on the eve of training camp. With cuts looming Saturday, here’s how the Bears’ 53-man roster is shaping up entering the regular season:


(25 players kept)


They’ll likely keep: 2.

They’re in: Mitch Trubisky, Chase Daniel.

He’s on the bubble: Tyler Bray.

The thinking: The Chiefs kept three quarterbacks last season, but one was a rookie. Coach Matt Nagy has praised the chemistry among the quarterbacks — ‘‘Those guys have a hell of a room going on right now,’’ he said Saturday — but Bray might be cut because the Bears need the roster spot elsewhere.

He said it: ‘‘I think this has been a really good training camp for him. From the start of training camp to even our last practice at Vernon Hills, he showed a lot of command in the huddle.’’ — Daniel, on Trubisky

Running backs

They’ll likely keep: 4.

They’re in: Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, Benny Cunningham.

They’re on the bubble: Taquan Mizzell, Michael Burton (fullback).

They’re out: Knile Davis, Ryan Nall.

The thinking: Mizzell seems to fit the multidimensional mold of Nagy’s offense. Burton, by contrast, seems miscast because Nagy doesn’t play a true fullback. Nall could reach the practice squad.

He said it: ‘‘[Shotgun formations] just open things up a lot more. And then we have so many weapons on the outside, they definitely can’t load the box up. A lot of wide-open holes.’’ — Howard

Wide receivers

They’ll likely keep: 6.

They’re in: Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller, Kevin White.

They’re on the bubble: Josh Bellamy, Javon Wims, Marlon Brown, Bennie Fowler, Tanner Gentry.

They’re out: DeMarcus Ayers, Garrett Johnson, Malachi Jones.

The thinking: The Bears owe White money whether he makes the team or not, but he has been good enough to make it despite offering little special-teams value. Wims is a better game player than practice participant, and it has shown in his star turns during the first and fourth preseason games. He might have too much good game film to sneak back onto the practice squad if the Bears cut him.

He said it: ‘‘Just to be out there in a game atmosphere, playing at those high speeds and everything, was everything I missed.’’ — Robinson, who has recovered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament

Tight ends

They’ll likely keep: 5.

They’re in: Trey Burton, Dion Sims, Adam Shaheen, Ben Braunecker, Daniel Brown.

They’re on the bubble: None.

They’re out: Zach Miller (PUP list), Colin Thompson.

The thinking: A spread team keeping five tight ends? Believe it — presuming Shaheen’s sprained right ankle and foot isn’t bad enough to send him to injured reserve. Brown and Braunecker provide enough special-teams value to justify the decision.

He said it: ‘‘They’re pretty deep in the tight-ends room. And they’re a smart group, so you can really plug them in at any time, and they’ll do exactly what you need them to do.’’ — Trubisky

Offensive line

They’ll likely keep: 8.

They’re in: Cody Whitehair, Kyle Long, Charles Leno Jr., Bobby Massie, James Daniels, Eric Kush.

They’re on the bubble: Bradley Sowell, Rashaad Coward, Jordan Morgan.

They’re out: Hroniss Grasu, Will Pericak, Matt McCants, Brandon Greene, Dejon Allen.

The thinking: The Bears cut veteran Earl Watford, who was a second-string guard throughout camp, on Sunday. Sowell, the team’s lone veteran swing tackle, hurt his left leg Saturday. Coward, a transplanted defensive lineman, and Morgan, a fifth-round pick in 2017 who sat out last season, are prime practice-squad candidates. Coward has had a particularly strong camp, but he lacks the experience teams might prefer in a backup.

He said it: ‘‘I see an offensive line that’s a group that’s very together. We play hard, we practice hard and we take pride in the little things, the basics. At the end of the day, that’s what it comes down to — the basics — for an offensive lineman.’’ — Long


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(25 players kept)

Defensive line

They’ll likely keep: 5.

They’re in: Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Roy Robertson-Harris, Jonathan Bullard, Bilal Nichols.

They’re on the bubble: None.

They’re out: John Jenkins, Nick Williams, Cavon Walker, Abdullah Anderson.

The thinking: The projected defensive-line rotation remains unchanged since camp started. Hicks’ sore knee limited him to one preseason game, but Robertson-Harris’ outstanding preseason should make the Bears feel better about their depth.

He said it: ‘‘I definitely feel more comfortable than I did a year ago. . . . I feel like, being that I played a whole year in the defense, I know what I’m doing.’’ — Robertson-Harris

Outside linebackers

They’ll likely keep: 5.

They’re in: Leonard Floyd, Sam Acho, Aaron Lynch, Kylie Fitts.

They’re on the bubble: Kasim Edebali, Isaiah Irving.

He’s out: Elijah Norris.

The thinking: Even if Floyd can put a club on his broken right hand and play in the regular-season opener, the Bears have to be concerned about depth. Lynch has practiced exactly once since hurting his hamstring on the first day of practice. Edebali, who is 29 and has eight career sacks, has fared well enough this summer to be the in-case-of-emergency option.

He said it: ‘‘My worry is just to get in the best shape I can, so when Week 1 comes, whenever I’m ready . . . I’ll be able to go full speed and do what I can for my team.’’ — Lynch

Inside linebackers

They’ll likely keep: 5.

They’re in: Danny Trevathan, Roquan Smith, Nick Kwiatkoski, Joel Iyiegbuniwe, John Timu.

They’re on the bubble: None.

They’re out: Josh Woods, Jonathan Anderson, Ro’Derrick Hoskins.

The thinking: Timu, a solid backup, prevents the Bears from having to rely on two rookies in their two-deep. Smith, who has participated in two full practices all camp, might play in the preseason finale Thursday, if healthy.

He said it: ‘‘Iron sharpens iron. I just want to make sure [Smith] is in the best situation possible, he knows as much as he can before he goes on that field, takes care of himself and makes some plays. And vice-versa.’’ — Trevathan


They’ll likely keep: 6.

They’re in: Kyle Fuller, Prince Amukamara, Bryce Callahan, Cre’Von LeBlanc.

They’re on the bubble: Sherrick McManis, Marcus Cooper.

They’re out: Michael Joseph, Kevin Toliver, Doran Grant, John Franklin III, Rashard Fant.

The thinking: Considering McManis is almost exclusively a special-teamer, it will be interesting to see if the Bears find a backup cornerback on the waiver wire.

He said it: ‘‘[Amukamara] hadn’t caught the ball much throughout his career. He’s played some good corner and he’s been a valuable corner, so he wants to add a dimension and a skill set to his game.’’ — defensive backs coach Ed Donatell


They’ll likely keep: 4.

They’re in: Adrian Amos, Eddie Jackson.

They’re on the bubble: Deon Bush, DeAndre Houston-Carson, Deiondre’ Hall.

They’re out: Nick Orr, Jonathon Mincy.

The thinking: Houston-Carson has a broken right forearm, and Hall is suspended for the first game for violating the NFL’s drug policy. Would the Bears dare enter Week 1 with only one backup safety?

He said it: ‘‘[Jackson] is way more comfortable, and him and Amos back there together, it’s a team. The safeties are a team operation, and they’re in control of the language between plays. They’ve done really well.’’ — Donatell


(3 players kept)

They’ll likely keep: 3.

They’re in: K Cody Parkey, P Pat O’Donnell, LS Patrick Scales.

They’re on the bubble: None.

They’re out: P Ryan Winslow, LS Tanner Carew.

The thinking: O’Donnell has outplayed Winslow all camp, and Carew has been with the team for only 10 days.

He said it: “I think he’s obviously continued to mature each and every year. He has a distinct routine. He knows that if he misses one, he knows how to fix it.” — special-teams coordinator Chris Tabor, on Parkey