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Bears reach NFL’s 53-man roster limit

Posted Sep 2, 2017

The Bears reached the NFL's mandatory 53-man roster limit Saturday by placing five players on injured reserve and cutting 30 others, including receivers Victor Cruz and Tanner Gentry.

The Bears reached the NFL’s mandatory 53-man roster limit Saturday by placing five players on injured reserve—including receiver Cameron Meredith, outside linebacker Lamarr Houston and running back Ka’Deem Carey—and cutting 30 others. 

Nine vested veterans had their contracts terminated, including receiver Victor Cruz, defensive end Jaye Howard Jr., linebacker Dan Skuta and cornerback B.W. Webb. The others were center Taylor Boggs, nose tackle John Jenkins, defensive end C.J. Wilson, linebacker Kelvin Sheppard and cornerback Johnthan Banks.

The Bears waived 21 players, including kicker Roberto Aguayo, receivers Tanner Gentry and Daniel Braverman, linebackers Jonathan Anderson and John Timu and safeties Harold Jones-Quartey and DeAndre Houston-Carson. 

The others were running back Joshua Rounds, receivers Titus Davis and Alton Howard, tackles Brandon Greene and Dieugot Joseph, guards Mitchell Kirsch, Will Poehls and Cyril Richardson, tight end MyCole Pruitt, fullback Freddie Stevenson, nose tackle Rashaad Coward, linebacker Isaiah Irving and cornerback Rashaad Reynolds.

Quarterback Connor Shaw was waived/injured.

Joining Meredith, Houston and Carey on injured reserve will be safety Chris Prosinski and guard Jordan Morgan.

Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee passed his physical and was moved from the physically unable to perform list to the active roster. McPhee had been on the PUP list since the start of training camp while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery.

The Bears kept three quarterbacks in Mike Glennon, Mark Sanchez and Mitchell Trubisky, and four running backs in Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, Jeremy Langford and Benny Cunningham. Last year only two quarterbacks and three running backs initially made the 53-man roster. Fullback Michael Burton also survived final cuts.

With Meredith out for the season and Gentry placed on waivers, the Bears kept five receivers in Kevin White, Markus Wheaton, Kendall Wright, Deonte Thompson and Josh Bellamy.

Five tight ends also made the 53-man roster: Dion Sims, Zach Miller, Adam Shaheen, Daniel Brown and Ben Braunecker.

The Bears kept eight offensive linemen in Charles Leno Jr., Kyle Long, Hroniss Grasu, Cody Whitehair, Josh Sitton, Bobby Massie, Tom Compton and Bradley Sowell

Five defensive linemen made the final roster in Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Jonathan Bullard, Mitch Unrein and Roy Robertson-Harris.

At outside linebacker, McPhee is joined by Sam Acho, Leonard Floyd and Willie Young. At inside linebacker, Nick Kwiatkoski and Christian Jones edged out Anderson and Timu behind starters Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman

The Bears kept 11 defensive backs: cornerbacks Prince Amukamara, Marcus Cooper, Kyle Fuller, Sherrick McManis, Bryce Callahan and Cre’Von LeBlanc; and safeties Quintin Demps, Eddie Jackson, Adrian Amos, Deon Bush and Deiondre’ Hall.

With Aguayo being waived, Connor Barth returns for his second season as Bears kicker.

The Bears kept four of their five draft picks in Trubisky, Shaheen, Jackson and Cohen. The only exception was Morgan, a fifth-round selection who was placed on injured reserve. No undrafted rookies made the roster for the second straight year. 

Of the 53 players on the roster, 44 have been acquired since Ryan Pace became Bears general manager in 2015. The exceptions are Bellamy, Fuller, Jones, Leno, Long, McManis, Miller, O’Donnell and Young.

The Bears can establish a 10-man practice squad on Sunday and also can claim players who've been waived by other NFL teams. In past seasons, the Bears have typically stocked their practice squad primarily with players they released during final cuts.

Here's a breakdown of the 53-man roster as it stands now (in alphabetical order):

Quarterbacks (3): Mike Glennon, Mark Sanchez, Mitchell Trubisky.

Running backs (4): Tarik Cohen, Benny Cunningham, Jordan Howard, Jeremy Langford. 

Fullbacks (1): Michael Burton. 

Receivers (5): Josh Bellamy, Deonte Thompson, Markus Wheaton, Kevin White, Kendall Wright.

Tight ends (5): Ben Braunecker, Daniel Brown, Zach Miller, Adam Shaheen, Dion Sims.

Offensive linemen (8): Tom Compton, Hroniss Grasu, Charles Leno Jr., Kyle Long, Bobby Massie, Josh Sitton, Bradley Sowell, Cody Whitehair.

Defensive linemen (5): Jonathan Bullard, Eddie Goldman, Roy Robertson-Harris, Akiem Hicks, Mitch Unrein.

Linebackers (8): Sam Acho, Leonard Floyd, Jerrell Freeman, Christian Jones, Nick Kwiatkoski, Pernell McPhee, Danny Trevathan, Willie Young.

Defensive backs (11): Adrian Amos, Prince Amukamara, Deon Bush, Bryce Callahan, Marcus Cooper, Quintin Demps, Kyle Fuller, Deiondre' Hall, Eddie Jackson, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Sherrick McManis.

Specialists (3): Connor Barth, Pat O'Donnell, Jeff Overbaugh.