Breaking down Bears’ 53-man roster after final cuts

A look at who made the team at each position and what that means for the upcoming season.

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Rodney Adams’ impressive preseason got him back on an NFL roster for the first time since 2017.

Rodney Adams’ impressive preseason got him back on an NFL roster for the first time since 2017.

John Amis/AP

While there has been plenty of uncertainty about the Bears’ plan heading into this season, there was minimal drama about who would make the team.

Most roster decisions were cemented long before the deadline to cut to 53 on Tuesday. Here’s a look at who the Bears kept:

Quarterback (3):
Who they kept:Andy Dalton, Justin Fields, Nick Foles.
What it means: Bears coach Matt Nagy named Dalton his Week 1 starter months ago and will let him keep the job as long as he plays well. Fields’ impressive preseason makes him compelling if Dalton slips.

Running back (3)
Who they kept:David Montgomery, Damien Williams, Khalil Herbert.
What it means: Montgomery is coming off a 1,000-yard rushing season and is playing for a contract extension. With Tarik Cohen on the physically unable to perform list, he doesn’t count on the active roster, and Damien Williams will fill his role for now. Herbert, a rookie, doubles as a kick returner.

Wide receiver (5)
Who they kept:Allen Robinson, Darnell Mooney, Marquise Goodwin, Damiere Byrd, Rodney Adams.
What it means: Adams was the preseason hero and is on an NFL roster for the first time since October 2017. Robinson leads a solid group at the position as he looks for his third consecutive 1,000-yard season, and Mooney could push for his first. Goodwin is a former Olympian who is the fastest player on the team. Byrd likely will return punts.

Tight end (5)
Who they kept:Jimmy Graham, Cole Kmet, Jesse James, J.P. Holtz, Jesper Horsted.
What it means: Graham has been a better signing than anyone thought at the time and remains one of the Bears’ best red-zone options. Kmet is looking to make a big jump in Year 2.

Offensive line (10)
Who they kept:LT Jason Peters, LG Cody Whitehair, C Sam Mustipher, RG James Daniels, RT Germain Ifedi, OT Larry Borom, OT Elijah Wilkinson, G/T Alex Bars, G/T Lachavious Simmons, OT Teven Jenkins.
What it means: The interior line looks solid, but Peters and Ifedi are question marks.

Defensive line (5)
Who they kept:Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Bilal Nichols, Khyiris Tonga, Angelo Blackson.
What it means: This could be the Bears’ strongest position. Hicks was still a top-notch pass rusher and run stopper last season, Nichols is coming off a career year, Goldman was excellent in 2019 and Tonga has been one of the best surprises of the preseason as a seventh-rounder. Mario Edwards (suspended) does not count toward the limit.

Outside linebacker (4)
Who they kept:Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn, Jeremiah Attaochu, Trevis Gipson.
What it means: Quinn had a dud of a first season with the Bears. Mack was still very good, but his production should spike if Quinn plays better.

Inside linebacker (7)
Who they kept:Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan, Alec Ogletree, Christian Jones, Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Caleb Johnson, Josh Woods.
What it means: Smith is one of the best in the NFL at his position and should play nearly every snap, but it’ll be interesting to see how the Bears split playing time between Trevathan and Ogletree.

Cornerback (4)
Who they kept:Jaylon Johnson, Kindle Vildor, Xavier Crawford, Duke Shelley.
What it means: Whoa, four cornerbacks? That’s it? The Bears have loads of uncertainty. Johnson must be a legitimate No. 1 to replace Kyle Fuller, and everyone else is unproven. They’ll be combing cuts around the NFL to find help.

Safety (4)
Who they kept:Eddie Jackson, Tashaun Gipson, DeAndre Houston-Carson, Deon Bush.
What it means: Everything is fine here as long as Jackson plays near the all-pro level he was at in 2018. He and Gipson worked well together last season and are capable of playing 100% of the snaps every week.

Specialists (3)
Who they kept:K Cairo Santos, P Pat O’Donnell, LS Patrick Scales.
What it means: Kicker drama is no longer a thing in Chicago after Santos set the franchise record by making 94% of his field goals last season.
Physically unable to perform (1)
RB Tarik Cohen (will miss first six games or more)
Suspended (1)
DL Mario Edwards (will miss first two games)

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