Bears

Bears finalize 53-man roster — they’re younger, but are they better?

The Bears cut their roster from 90 players to 53 on Saturday, in preparation for the regular-season opener against the Packers on Sept. 9 at Lambeau Field.

On a day when the Bears made stunning news by trading for Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack, there were few surprises on the 53-man roster. The most notable players cut were cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc and linebacker John Timu. LeBlanc started 10 games as a backup nickel back behind Bryce Callahan the previous two seasons. Timu started nine games the previous three seasons. But the additions of draft picks Roquan Smith and Joel Iyiegbuniwe put him on the roster bubble to open training camp.

The Bears waived undrafted rookie running back Ryan Nall, who had runs of 69, 32, 24 and 17 yards in the preseason. But he’s expected to be signed to the practice squad unless he is claimed by another team.

One notable player who made the roster is offensive tackle Rashaad Coward, who was switched from defensive line to offensive line in the offseason after making the team last year as an undrafted rookie defensive tackle from Old Dominion. Coward was the second-team right tackle through most of the preseason and impressed the Bears’ coaches from the start.

Jordan Howard

Jordan Howard will be a key part of the Bears' attack again. | Jack Dempsey/AP Photo

Eight rookies made the 53-man roster, including all seven draft picks. Smith, offensive lineman James Daniels and wide receiver Anthony Miller were givens. But Iyiegbuniwe (fourth round), defensive lineman Bilal Nichols (fifth), outside linebacker Kylie Fitts (sixth) and wide receiver Javon Wims (seventh) also made it. Cornerback Kevin Toliver is the only undrafted free agent on the 53-man roster, though others figure to be added to the 10-player practice squad.

The roster is set but hardly final. There could be changes if the Bears sign players who were cut by other teams. There’s usually one or two each year.

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The roster includes only four players who will be 30 or older when the regular season begins: backup quarterback Chase Daniel (31), linebacker Sam Acho (30), cornerback Sherrick McManis (30) and long snapper Patrick Scales (30). If Mack replaces Acho as a starting outside linebacker as expected, the Bears will not have a starter 30 or older.

Here is the Bears’ 53-man roster, with one player to be removed to make room for Mack:

(Player, Age)

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACKS (2)

Mitch Trubisky, 23

Chase Daniel, 31

RUNNING BACKS (4)

Jordan Howard, 23

Tarik Cohen, 23

Benny Cunningham, 28

Michael Burton (FB), 26

TIGHT ENDS (5)

Trey Burton, 26

Dion Sims, 27

Adam Shaheen, 23

Daniel Brown, 26

Ben Braunecker, 24

WIDE RECEIVERS (6)

Allen Robinson, 24

Taylor Gabriel, 27

Anthony Miller, (R) 23

Kevin White, 26

Josh Bellamy, 29

Javon Wims (R), 23

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)

Kyle Long, 29

Charles Leno, 26

Cody Whitehair, 26

Bobby Massie, 29

Eric Kush, 28

James Daniels (R), 20

Hroniss Grasu, 27

Bradley Sowell, 29

Rashaad Coward, 23

 

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (5)

Akiem Hicks, 28

Eddie Goldman, 24

Jonathan Bullard, 24

Roy Robertson-Harris, 25

Bilal Nichols (R), 21

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (6)

Khalil Mack, 27

Leonard Floyd, 25

Sam Acho, 30

Aaron Lynch, 25

Isaiah Irving, 24

Kylie Fitts (R), 23

INSIDE LINEBACKERS (4)

Danny Trevathan, 28

Nick Kwiatkoski, 25

Roquan Smith (R), 21

Joel Iyiegbuniwe (R), 22

CORNERBACKS (6)

Prince Amukamara, 29

Kyle Fuller, 26

Bryce Callahan, 26

Marcus Cooper, 28

Kevin Toliver, 22

Sherrick McManis, 30

SAFETIES (4)

Eddie Jackson, 24

Adrian Amos, 25

Deon Bush,25

DeAndre Houston-Carson, 25

 

SPECIALISTS (3)

Cody Parkey, PK, 26

Pat O’Donnell, P, 27

Patrick Scales, LS, 30