Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
I haven't heard much about Daniel Braverman this summer and was wondering how he has been performing in practice. I recall there being a lot of buzz about him last year as a rookie.
Bears receiver Daniel Braverman hasn't had much of a chance to replicate the impact plays that enabled him to stand out as a rookie last year in training camp because he has been slowed by nagging injuries. The Western Michigan product sat out the preseason opener because of a calf injury, but he made a couple of nice catches in practice Wednesday and needs to make the most of the opportunities he receives in the Bears' three remaining preseason games. The competition at slot receiver is much more intense this year for Braverman following the addition of veteran free agents Victor Cruz and Kendall Wright.
I thought the Bears running game looked pretty good in the first preseason game. Who do you see making the roster at the running back position and who do you see on the bubble?
The Bears do have a lot of quality depth and talent at running back, which of course is a good problem to have, especially given the physical nature of the position. Jordan Howard and rookie Tarik Cohen are absolute locks to make the roster, and I know that the Bears and especially coach John Fox are high on Ka'Deem Carey. I love Carey's bruising style as a ballcarrier and he has shown constant improvement on special teams. The Bears also like Jeremy Langford; remember he opened last season as the starter before sustaining an ankle injury. Unfortunately, he missed virtually all of training camp after reinjuring his ankle and must show the Bears that he can stay healthy and be the same player he was before getting hurt. I think the Bears could keep four running backs on their 53-man roster depending on what they decide to do at other positions such as tight end, receiver and fullback. One back who could be on the bubble is veteran Benny Cunningham, though I thought he was pretty impressive in training camp both as a ballcarrier and pass catcher out of the backfield. His chances of earning a spot could hinge on whether he's able to supplant Deonte Thompson as the team's primary kickoff returner.
When do the Bears have to start cutting players?
Morton Grove, Illinois
The NFL eliminated the mandatory cutdown to 75 this year, so the Bears and their counterparts don't have to release any players until Saturday, Sept. 2 when they must reach the 53-man roster limit. That change was made so that teams have more bodies to play in their final preseason games when they generally rest most if not all of their starters.