Bears Insider

Schrock's final Bears depth chart, 53-man roster projection after preseason finale

The Bears don't have many tough decisions to make heading into cutdown day

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The Bears concluded their 2023 preseason slate with a relatively unmemorable performance in a 24-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Saturday at Soldier Field.

Quarterback Justin Fields and the healthy starters played between 10 and 15 snaps before turning it over to roster hopefuls looking to make one final push for a spot on the 53-man roser.

The available roster spots have dwindled over the past two weeks, and Saturday’s preseason finale all but cemented the 53-man roster and depth chart in stone, with Trevis Gipson’s trade request making the final number-crunch decision much easier.


Locks: Justin Fields

In the mix: P.J. Walker, Tyson Bagent

Others on roster: Nathan Peterman

Projected depth chart on 53-man roster (3):
Justin Fields
P.J. Walker
Tyson Bagent


The Bears would love to sneak Bagent onto the practice squad, but I think the undrafted rookie has shown he belongs in the NFL. His enticing upside is too good to risk gambling on him making it through waivers.

Walker’s savvy and experience are enough for the Bears to look past a poor camp, but not enough to risk letting another team get a shot at an intriguing prospect like Bagent.

Running back

Locks: Khalil Herbert, D’Onta Foreman, Roschon Johnson, Travis Homer

In the mix: N/A

Others on roster: Trestan Ebner             

Projected depth chart on 53-man roster (4):
Khalil Herbert
D’Onta Foreman
Roschon Johnson
Travis Homer


Despite an “open” competition in camp, Herbert is the only running back the Bears have treated like a starter. Herbert sat out of the second preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts, while Foreman and Johnson suited up.

The Bears will give Herbert every chance to keep the RB1 job, but I still think Foreman will eventually overtake him if Herbert’s pass protection hasn’t drastically improved from last season.

It’s a good group for the running-back-by-committee approach the Bears want to use.

Ebner left the first preseason game with an injury and has not returned to practice since. Can’t make the team if you aren’t available.


Lock: Khari Blasingame

In the mix: N/A

Others on roster: Robert Burns


The Bears signed Blasingame to an extension in the offseason. This spot has been locked up for months.

Wide receiver

Lock: D.J. Moore, Chase Claypool, Darnell Mooney, Tyler Scott

In the mix: Velus Jones Jr., Equanimeous St. Brown, Daurice Fountain

Others on roster: Nsimba Webster, Isaiah Ford

Projected depth chart on 53-man roster (6):
DJ Moore, Velus Jones Jr.
Z: Chase Claypool, Equanimeous St. Brown
F: Darnell Mooney, Tyler Scott


Dante Pettis going on IR on Friday cemented this group. St. Brown hasn’t done much in camp, but the Bears like his run-blocking and need another bigger-body receiver in case Claypool misses time in the regular season.

Fountain has been coming on late, but I don’t think he can overtake St. Brown. He and Webster could both find homes back on the practice squad.

Tight end

Locks: Cole Kmet, Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis

In the mix: N/A

Others on roster: Stephen Carlson, Lachlan Pitts

Projected depth chart on 53-man roster (3):
Cole Kmet
Robert Tonyan
Marcedes Lewis


Once the Bears added Lewis, this group was basically signed, sealed, and delivered. Carlson had a brief chance to make the roster, but the Bears need to utilize that spot elsewhere.

After signing his extension, Kmet has a chance to ascend into the upper echelon of Tier 2 tight ends this season. Tonyan provides a reliable pass-catching threat on third down and in the red zone, while Lewis is a tremendous blocker who knows offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s system.

Offensive line

Locks: Braxton Jones, Teven Jenkins, Cody Whitehair, Nate Davis, Darnell Wright, Lucas Patrick

In the mix: Ja’Tyre Carter, Alex Leatherwood, Larry Borom, Doug Kramer

Others on roster: Dieter Eiselen, Josh Lugg, Robert Haskins, Aviante Collins, Logan Stenberg, Kellen Diesch, Gabriel Houy

Projected depth chart on 53-man roster (9):
Braxton Jones, Larry Borom
LG: Teven Jenkins, Alex Leatherwood
C: Cody Whitehair, Lucas Patrick
RG: Nate Davis, Ja’Tyre Carter
RT: Darnell Wright, Larry Borom


Jenkins could miss the start of the regular season with a leg injury. The Bears deemed him week-to-week, which doesn’t bode well for his availability to start the regular season. That means Whitehair will kick to left guard, and Patrick, should he get healthy, will be the starting center.

Borom is the Bears’ best option at swing tackle. Carter and Leatherwood have gotten a number of reps with the first-team offense during camp due to injuries.

Leatherwood is on the bubble, but Jenkins’ injury likely makes him safe for the initial 53-man roster.

Kramer should find his way onto the practice squad.

The health of the Bears’ offensive line is a big question mark as we approach cutdown day.

After Kramer suffered a hand injury Saturday, Dieter Eiselen was the only healthy center.

The Bears expect to get Darnell Wright, Nate Davis, and Lucas Patrick back soon, but this unit is decimated, and that makes the roster decisions a bit more difficult.

Defensive line

Locks: Yannick Ngakoue, DeMarcus Walker, Justin Jones, Andrew Billings, Rasheem Green, Dominique Robinson, Gervon Dexter, Zacch Pickens

In the mix: Terrell Lewis, Trevis Gipson, Travis Bell

Others on roster: Andrew Brown, Bravvion Roy, D’Anthony Jones, Jalen Harris

Projected depth chart on 53-man roster (9):
Yannick Ngakoue, Dominique Robinson
3T: Justin Jones, Gervon Dexter
1T: Andrew Billings, Zacch Pickens
DE: DeMarcus Walker, Rasheem Green, Terrell Lewis


The Bears have some good depth on the defensive line, and Gipson’s trade request Saturday made a hard decision much easier.

Gipson and Lewis have spent the preseason battling for one spot. Both have flashed, but Lewis has done it against better competition and became close to a roster lock last week. Gipson is a competent NFL edge rusher entering a contract year. He wasn’t going to get many snaps even if he did make the 53, so it’s understandable that he wants to find a new home.

I’d assume the Bears would like to try to get one or both of Bell and Jones on the practice squad. The Bears like Bell, but he’s undersized and needs to develop. He has done some nice things with the third team in camp, but he hasn’t done enough to earn a spot.


Locks: Tremaine Edmunds, T.J. Edwards, Noah Sewell, Jack Sanborn

In the mix: Dylan Cole, Mykal Walker

Others on roster: Davion Taylor, Micah Baskerville, DeMarquis Gates, Barrington Wade

Projected depth chart on 53-man roster (5):

SAM: Jack Sanborn, Noah Sewell
MIKE: Tremaine Edmunds, Jack Sanborn
WILL: T.J. Edwards, Mykal Walker


There’s not much to this group. The Bears probably prefer to keep Cole as their fifth linebacker, but he has been injured for most of camp.

The Bears signed Walker prior to the second preseason game. He started games for the Atlanta Falcons last year and provides value on special teams.

I thought Sewell would snag the starting SAM spot, but I think Sanborn has done just enough to hold the rookie off.

Something to look out for here is Sewell, who left Saturday’s game on a cart with a left leg injury. If that’s a serious injury, that could change the equation here.


Locks: Jaylon Johnson, Kyler Gordon, Tyrique Stevenson, Terell Smith

In the mix: Josh Blackwell, Jaylon Jones

Others on roster: Kindle Vildor, Macon Clark, Michael Ojemudia, Greg Stroman Jr.

Projected depth chart on 53-man roster (6):
Jaylon Johnson, Terell Smith
CB: Tyrique Stevenson, Jaylon Jones
Nickel: Kyler Gordon, Josh Blackwell


There are four locks on this group, and Blackwell is as safe as a non-lock could be as long as the injury that has sidelined him for two weeks isn’t serious.

Jones provides good special teams value and quality depth. He’ll be one of the final men in as long as he gets a clean bill of health.


Locks: Eddie Jackson, Jaquan Brisker, Elijah Hicks, A.J. Thomas

In the mix: N/A

Others on roster: Bralen Trahan, Kendall Williamson

Projected depth chart on 53-man roster (4):
Jaquan Brisker, A.J. Thomas
FS: Eddie Jackson, Elijah Hicks


With Adrian Colbert going on IR, Thomas should cruise onto the 53-man roster as the fourth safety.

Williamson could be a practice squad target.


Locks: Cairo Santos (K), Trenton Gill (P), Patrick Scales (LS)


This unit was never in doubt.

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