Records: It Matters Not…but CHI 1-2 TEN 1-2
Kickoff: 7 pm
TV: Fox 32
Radio: WBBM 780 AM/105.9 FM
It was a Forward Pass: Musiccitymiracles.com
And so it ends, with a whimper.
The 2019 NFL Preseason finally comes to a close on Thursday. I say finally because the Preseason is now total trash. A lot of guys will play tonight that you’ve never heard of, and probably never will again. Hell, Chicago signed a guy to play running back so as not to hurt players they likely intend to keep on the practice squad. The Bears are slightly ahead of the curve here, but most of the league is now using the bulk of August games to work out the edges of the roster. Guaranteed starters are tasked with doing little more than going through normal game prep and then shedding the pads, if they even put them on, and yucking it up on the sidelines with coaches and their not-as-nearly-good counterparts, players doing all they can to earn a spot on the final roster the league over.
There’s been a lot of smoke in recent years about reducing the preseason to two games and adding two in the regular season. Count me in the camp that would like to see this become reality, albeit with the caveat that teams are given two bye weeks instead of simply adding a game to the already brutal slate. That wouldn’t net billionaire owners that much more money, though, so you can guess how much juice that idea has. Regardless, something’s gotta give in the near future with the preseason structure.
As for this game….well, dear reader, not a whole lot to say that my guy Tony didn’t already say yesterday.
My FFUD Bears compatriot broke down battles at every position for you and gave his best guesses at who’ll make this final 53 at Halas Hall come Saturday afternoon. Hate to say it, but I think his and FFUD Brian’s faves Taquan SMOKE Mizzell and John Franklin III are at best destined for the practice squad. That’s not a bad thing, but even with his special teams experience I just don’t see a scenario where Mizzell makes the cut, especially with Ryan Nall running roughshod his second straight August. JF3 has a slightly better shot in a muddled defensive backfield race, but I think it’s a lack of experience for him that lands him…on the practice squad.
There’s definitely going to be a tight end that wins a job tonight, and my money is on Dax Raymond. Josh Woods is really forcing the Bears hand, playing so well this summer that I don’t think they’ll be able to sneak him to Sunday and the practice squad. This makes it even more difficult to see the team keep any of JF3, Mizzell or Nall if we’re being honest. This team really feels like it’s pretty well set for about 50 or 51 spots, and with the offensive line depth hurting through injury, a few more could even be squeezed to make room for a signing once all cuts are announced.
The Titans just traded for Reggie Gilbert, formerly of Green Bay, and that would normally make one think any EDGE players need to start worrying, but the team was thin at the position due to injury so the pinch felt from this trade will likely be elsewhere. The Titans’ site linked above ponders if the team will look to deal from tackle/O-Line depth to recoup some draft capital, having just five 2020 selections after the deal. Maybe Ryan Pace comes calling for some help if the Bears suffer further losses to the current line.
Deep breaths, Chicago. Green bay in a week. Hell Yes.