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Breaking Down the Chicago Bears 53-Man Roster

There has been a ton of uncertainty surrounding the Chicago Bears heading into the 2021 regular season. Now that Chicago has cut their roster down to 53 players, there is even more confusion when you look at this roster. The most notable position that needs help is at cornerback. The fact that there are only four on this current roster tells us that the Bears must have something up their sleeve.

Nonetheless, below is the 53-man Chicago Bears roster, which excludes players that are suspended or entering the season on the PUP list.

justin fields fantasy chicago bears roster
Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Chicago Bears 53-Man Roster | Offense

Quarterback (3)

  • Andy Dalton
  • Justin Fields(*)
  • Nick Foles

There’s no surprise here. Unless the Bears find a trade partner for Foles, this will be the unit the entire season.

Running back (3)

  • David Montgomery
  • Damien Williams
  • Khalil Herbert (*)

Tarik Cohen will start the season on the PUP list. This means he will miss at least the first six games of the regular season. Chicago ultimately decided to release both Ryan Nall and Artavis Pierce. Keep an eye on Pierce, as he could find himself on Chicago’s practice squad for the second straight season.

Wide receiver (5) 

  • Allen Robinson
  • Darnell Mooney 
  • Marquise Goodwin
  • Demiere Byrd
  • Rodney Adams 

The first four are to no surprise. Adams played well enough to earn a roster spot, but the release of both Riley Ridley and rookie Dazz Newsome came as a shock. If Newsome clears waivers, Chicago will add him to their practice squad.

Tight end (5) 

  • Cole Kmet
  • Jimmy Graham 
  • Jessie James
  • Jesper Horsted
  • J.P. Holtz

It’s hard to imagine all five tight ends staying on the active roster the entire season. Kmet, Graham, and James are safe barring injuries. Both Horsted and Holtz are players that could easily be demoted once Mario Edwards Jr. and Cohen rejoin the active roster.

Offensive line (10) 

  • Jason Peters
  • Cody Whitehair
  • Sam Mustipher
  • James Daniels 
  • Germain Ifedi 
  • Elijah Wilkinson 
  • Alex Bars 
  • Larry Borom (*)
  • Lachavious Simmons
  • Teven Jenkins (*)

There’s not much surprise when glancing at this group. Jenkins avoided being placed on the IR. This means he will more than likely convert over to the in-season IR list soon, opening up another roster spot. Simmons beat out Arlington Hambright, who should find himself on the practice squad again if he clears waivers.

chicago bears roster
Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Chicago Bears 53-Man Roster | Defense

Defensive line (5) 

  • Akiem Hicks
  • Eddie Goldman 
  • Bilal Nichols 
  • Angelo Blackson
  • Khyiris Tonga (*)

These five were expected to make the roster all along. Edwards Jr. will join them once his suspension is up in Week 3.

Outside linebacker (4) 

  • Khalil Mack 
  • Robert Quinn
  • Jeremiah Attaochu
  • Trevis Gipson

This is a solid group with great depth. Undrafted rookie Charles Snowden is expected to join Chicago’s practice squad if he clears waivers.

Inside linebacker (7) 

  • Roquan Smith 
  • Danny Trevathan
  • Christian Jones
  • Alec Ogletree
  • Joel Iyiegbuniwe
  • Caleb Johnson
  • Josh Woods

Seven inside linebackers is way too many when entering a new season. It makes you think that Chicago carried at least two extra so they could make sure they stayed with the team. Iyiegbuniwe, Johnson, and Woods will likely serve as special teams players with great chances to be demoted to the team’s practice squad at some point.

Cornerback (4) 

  • Jaylon Johnson
  • Kindle Vildor
  • Duke Shelley 
  • Xavier Crawford

This one is a head-scratcher. Why in the world would you only keep four corners unless you had a great secret plan? The guess is that Desmond Trufant finds his way back on the team. And Thomas Graham Jr. finds his way on the practice squad as well. Because Chicago doesn’t have a clear No. 2 corner nor nickel, expect the team to sign or trade for someone in the next couple of days.

Safety (4) 

  • Eddie Jackson
  • Tashaun Gipson
  • Deon Bush
  • Deandre Houston-Carson

There was a ton of optimism that Marqui Christian would find himself on the 53-man roster. Nonetheless, this group is solid, and both Bush and Houston-Carson bring valuable depth to the position.

Chicago Bears 53-Man Roster | Special Teams, PUP/Suspended

Specialists (3)

  • Cairo Santos
  • Pat O’Donnell
  • Patrick Scales

There’s nothing to discuss here. These three were obviously safe the entire offseason.


  • DL) Mario Edwards Jr.

Edwards Jr. will miss the first two games of the season before he rejoins one of the best defensive lines in the league.


  • RB) Tarik Cohen 

Cohen is still recovering from last year’s torn ACL he suffered in Week 4. His timetable to return is very uncertain at this point.

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