The Bears reached the NFL's 53-man roster limit Saturday by placing outside linebacker Pernell McPhee and receiver Marquess Wilson on the physically unable to perform list and cutting 20 players, including receiver Marc Mariani and running back Jacquizz Rodgers.
McPhee continues to recover from offseason knee surgery, while Wilson broke his foot in June during minicamp. Because they are on the PUP list, both will miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season and won't be eligible to play until Oct. 20 when the Bears visit the Packers in a Thursday night contest.
Mariani appeared in 22 games with five starts the past two seasons with the Bears. He helped fill the void when injuries depleted the team's receiving corps last year, establishing career highs with 22 receptions and 300 yards. He produced first downs on 19 of his 22 catches, including all 11 on third down. Mariani also averaged 6.1 yards on 36 punt returns and 25.8 yards on 36 kickoff returns.
Jacquizz Rodgers signed with the Bears last year and appeared in the first five games before being lost for the season with a broken arm.
Rodgers signed with the Bears last year and appeared in the first five games before being lost for the season with a broken arm. Before suffering the injury in a Week 5 win over the Chiefs, he rushed for 41 yards on 14 carries, caught one pass for 10 yards and recorded three special-teams tackles.
Other veterans whose contracts were terminated Saturday were tight ends Tony Moeaki and Rob Housler, guard Shelley Smith and tackle Garry Williams.
Players waived included quarterback David Fales, inside linebacker John Timu, receivers Daniel Braverman and B.J. Daniels, tight end Ben Braunecker, cornerbacks Taveze Calhoun and Kevin Peterson, center Khaled Holmes, tackle Jason Weaver, nose tackle Terry Williams and long-snapper Patrick Scales.
The Bears also waived/injured defensive end Ego Ferguson and outside linebacker Danny Mason.
The Bears kept only two quarterbacks in Jay Cutler and Brian Hoyer, three running backs in Jeremy Langford, Ka'Deem Carey and Jordan Howard, and one fullback in Paul Lasike.
Six receivers made the 53-man roster with Joshua Bellamy, Cameron Meredith, Eddie Royal and Deonte Thompson edging out Mariani, Braverman and Daniels for reserve spots behind starters Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White.
The Bears kept three tight ends in Zach Miller, Khari Lee and Greg Scruggs, who earned a roster spot just three months after switching to the position from defensive end.
Eight offensive linemen made the final 53, with Mike Adams, Cornelius Edison and Amini Silatolu listed as reserves behind starters Charles Leno Jr. Jr., Cody Whitehair, Ted Larsen, Kyle Long and Bobby Massie.
The Bears kept six defensive linemen in Jonathan Bullard, Eddie Goldman, Akiem Hicks, Will Sutton, Mitch Unrein and Cornelius Washington.
At outside linebacker, Sam Acho, Leonard Floyd, Lamarr Houston and Willie Young all made it, along with the versatile Christian Jones, who can play both inside and outside. At inside linebacker, Jonathan Anderson and Nick Kwiatkoski edged out Timu for reserve roles behind starters Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman.
Kwiatkoski, a fourth-round pick from West Virginia, made his preseason debut Thursday night in Cleveland after missing the first three exhibition games with a hamstring injury.
The Bears kept seven cornerbacks—Bryce Callahan, Kyle Fuller, Jacoby Glenn, Deiondre' Hall, Demontre Hurst, Sherrick McManis and Tracy Porter—and five safeties—Adrian Amos, Deon Bush, DeAndre Houston-Carson, Harold Jones-Quartey and Chris Prosinski.
Aaron Brewer, who played for Bears coach John Fox and special-teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers with the Broncos, edged out Patrick Scales for the long-snapper position.
The Bears kept eight of their nine draft picks in Floyd, Whitehair, Bullard, Kwiatkoski, Bush, Hall, Howard and Carson. The only exception was Braverman, a seventh-round selection from Western Michigan. No undrafted rookies made the roster.
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 (2): Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer.
Running backs (3): Ka'Deem Carey, Jordan Howard, Jeremy Langford.
Fullbacks (1): Paul Lasike.
Receivers (6): Joshua Bellamy, Alshon Jeffery, Cameron Meredith, Eddie Royal, Deonte Thompson, Kevin White.
Tight ends (3): Khari Lee, Zach Miller, Greg Scruggs.
Offensive linemen (8): Mike Adams, Cornelius Edison, Ted Larsen, Charles Leno Jr., Kyle Long, Bobby Massie, Amini Silatolu, Cody Whitehair.
Defensive linemen (6): Jonathan Bullard, Eddie Goldman, Akiem Hicks, Will Sutton, Mitch Unrein, Cornelius Washington.
Linebackers (9): Sam Acho, Jonathan Anderson, Leonard Floyd, Jerrell Freeman, Lamarr Houston, Christian Jones, Nick Kwiatkoski, Danny Trevathan, Willie Young.
Defensive backs (12): Adrian Amos, Deon Bush, Bryce Callahan, Kyle Fuller, Jacoby Glenn, Deiondre' Hall, DeAndre Houston-Carson, Demontre Hurst, Harold Jones-Quartey, Sherrick McManis, Tracy Porter, Chris Prosinski.
Specialists (3): Aaron Brewer, Robbie Gould, Pat O'Donnell.