The regular season is just days away for the Chicago Bears now that both training camp and the preseason are over. But before they take the field against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1, general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus must trim the roster from 80 players to 53. That means a lot of tough decisions will be made about the players they have. bubble everything they have since training camp started in late July.
Cutting 27 players isn’t easy for an NFL general manager, and while some are easy to spot, it’s also becoming clear who has earned a spot on the team. Here are eight players we believe have made the Bears’ final roster.
1. RB Darrynton Evans
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – AUGUST 18: Mike Jackson #30 of the Seattle Seahawks dives to tackle Darrynton Evans #21 of the Chicago Bears in the second quarter at Lumen Field on August 18, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
The bad news about the return of Darrydon Evans? It appears that rookie Trestan Ebner easily passed him as the team’s RB3 during training camp. The good news is that he still played very well in the preseason and made the most of almost every carry he got. Evans finished the preseason with 77 yards and a touchdown on 4.1 yards per carry. The Bears could opt to play only three linebackers and one running back, but Evans looks legit and deserves a spot.
2. WR Isaiah Coulter
August 27, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA Chicago Bears wide receiver Isaiah Coulter (82) catches the ball while sitting on the ground against Cleveland Browns cornerback Herb Miller (29) during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
It may be hard to believe, but the most consistent receiver during the preseason for the Bears has been Isaiah Coulter. The veteran led the team through three games with 112 receiving yards, making plays with every quarterback on the roster. He finds his way to the football on offense but is also a capable specialist player.
Injuries will make the Bears’ receiving corps very interesting to finalize, but Coulter deserves to stick with them when the dust settles.
3. OL Dieter Eislen
June 8, 2022; Lake Forest, IL, USA Chicago Bears offensive lineman Dieter Eiselen (60) warms up during organized team activities at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Maybe put an asterisk on this one, as I don’t think Dieter Eislen will be on the roster for long, but if we’re talking about versatile backup infielders who have jumped off the screen more than once, he’s the guy who stands out. Eislen should see team time for at least a week while Lucas Patrick heals his injured thumb. He can play both guard and center and has stood out against the reserves, particularly against the Seattle Seahawks in the preseason.
It might be short, but Eislen did enough for at least a short stint on the roster.
4. DE Sam Kamara
Chicago Bears linebacker Sam Kamara runs down the field during the second half of a preseason NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
Eberflus loves players with high motors and we’ve seen that from defensive end Sam Kamara this preseason. The second-year tackler has been able to wreak havoc in the backfield more than twice. He totaled six tackles and two sacks this season, with some quarterback pressures as well.
Kamara can still improve when it comes to holding down the quarterback, but he deserves a spot over a highly paid veteran like Mario Edwards Jr. and he can take it.
5. DT Trevon Coley
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith, center, is pressured by Chicago Bears defensive tackle Trevon Coley during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Take what we just wrote about Kamara and put it in big bold letters for defensive tackle Trevon Coley. Signed in the middle of training camp, Coley has been a force on the defensive line. He has five total tackles, three for a loss, three sacks and six quarterback hits. Even for a 3-technique defensive tackle, that’s impressive.
Coley could be in line to back up Justin Jones, but he’s been one of the stars of the preseason and should have a home in Chicago.
6. LB Jack Sanborn
Chicago Bears linebacker Jack Sanborn during the second half of a preseason NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
The secret lies in undrafted linebacker Jack Sanborn. Although he came back down to earth shortly after his remarkable debut against the Kansas City Chiefs, he is climbing the depth chart and continues to play smart and smart football. Team coaches have praised his work ethic and it would be a shock to learn he is not in their plans this year.
Sanborn appears to be the epitome of the type of player Eberflus wants on his team and has earned not only a roster spot, but significant snaps as well.
7. CB Davontae Harris
Chicago Bears cornerback Davontae Harris (16) defends against Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Chris Lammons (29) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
Like Coley, defensive back Davontae Harris joined Bears camp in August but has made a strong first impression. He recorded 12 tackles this preseason, including six in Saturday’s finale alone. Harris showed his versatility as he was all over the court and made a much stronger case to make the roster than someone like Lamar Jackson. Harris was also strong on special teams, boosting his case to reach 53.
Cornerback could be in flux as multiple players deal with injuries. Regardless, Harris has earned a shot and brings years of experience to a young secondary.
8. S Elijah Hicks
Chicago Bears safety Elijah Hicks (37) tackles Cleveland Browns tackle David Njoku (85) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)
I can’t help but love the way Elijah Hicks plays football at safety. He is instinctive, quick and flies at the football. Hicks hasn’t necessarily been a standout on defense, but his play on special teams is what counts in his bid to make the team. The seventh-round pick out of Cal finished the preseason with 11 total tackles and while he still has a ways to go in his development, he has the potential to become a solid NFL player.
This story originally appeared on Bears Wire