In advance of Sunday's season opener against the Lions in Detroit, the Bears on Monday released their first unofficial depth chart since finalizing their 53-man roster.
Here are five things that stand out:
(1) Rookie Jaylon Johnson is listed as a starter at cornerback opposite two-time Pro Bowler Kyle Fuller. The second-round draft pick from Utah was unable to gain valuable game reps because the entire preseason was cancelled due to COVID-19. But coaches were impressed with the instincts, confidence and playmaking ability he demonstrated in training camp practices. Listed behind Johnson on the depth chart are first-year pro Duke Shelley and rookie fifth-round pick Kindle Vildor.
(2) Veteran Tashaun Gipson Sr. is the starter at safety opposite Eddie Jackson, ahead of Deon Bush and DeAndre Houston-Carson. Gipson and Bush battled for the position in training camp. Gipson, who signed with the Bears in March, has been a full-time NFL starter since his second year in the league with the Browns in 2013. He has recorded 446 tackles, 23 interceptions—three of which he returned for touchdowns—47 pass breakups and 13 tackles-for-loss in eight seasons with the Browns (2012-15), Jaguars (2016-18) and Texans (2019).
(3) After practicing primarily with the running backs in training camp, the versatile Cordarrelle Patterson is listed as a backup to Allen Robinson II at receiver. Patterson remains the Bears' No. 1 kickoff returner after being named first-team All-Pro in that role last season for the third time in his NFL career.
(4) The Bears list three receivers with the No. 1 offense in lieu of a fullback. Joining Robinson with the first team are Anthony Miller and Ted Ginn Jr. Miller is backed up by Javon Wims, while Darnell Mooney is second and Riley Ridley is third behind Ginn.
(5) Jimmy Graham is the top tight end, followed by Cole Kmet, Demetrius Harris, J.P. Holtz and Eric Saubert. None of the five opened the 2019 season with the Bears. A year ago, the depth chart at tight end consisted of Trey Burton, Adam Shaheen, Ben Braunecker and Bradley Sowell.
Elsewhere on the depth chart—as coach Matt Nagy announced Sunday—Mitchell Trubisky is the starting quarterback and Nick Foles is the backup.
David Montgomery is the No. 1 running back, followed by Tarik Cohen and Ryan Nall. Cohen also remains the No. 1 punt returner.
The offensive line returns four of five starters in left tackle Charles Leno Jr., left guard James Daniels, center Cody Whitehair and right tackle Bobby Massie. Free-agent addition Germain Ifedi joins the top unit at right guard.
Rashaad Coward is listed as the backup at right guard and right tackle, Daniels is the No. 2 center, Jason Spriggs is the second-team left tackle, and Daniels is backed up at left guard by Alex Bars and Arlington Hambright.
The starting defensive line consists of tackle Akiem Hicks, nose tackle Bilal Nichols and end Roy Robertson-Harris. Backups include tackle Brent Urban and nose tackle John Jenkins.
At inside linebacker, Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith are the starters, and Joel Iyiegbuniwe and Josh Woods are the backups.
At outside linebacker, Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn are the starters, Barkevious Mingo and Trevis Gipson are the backups, and James Vaughters is listed as third string.
Fuller is backed up at cornerback by Buster Skrine, while Sherrick McManis is behind Jackson at safety.
Mooney is listed as the second team punt returner and kickoff returner behind Cohen and Patterson, respectively, while Miller is third at both positions.