Bears release first unofficial depth chart ahead of preseason opener

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The Chicago Bears are gearing up for their first preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs, which will feature the return of former head coach Matt Nagy to Soldier Field.

The Bears released their first unofficial depth chart ahead of Saturday’s preseason opener against the Chiefs. While it’s far from being finalized, there are plenty of notable surprises at some notable positions, including wide receiver, offensive line, defensive line, linebacker and special teams.

Here’s a look at the Bears’ first unofficial depth chart:

Quarterback

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Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

QB

Justin Fields

Trevor Siemian

Nathan Peterman

Unlike last summer, there’s really no questions or drama with the quarterbacks. There’s no debating that Justin Fields is QB1 heading into this season, and Trevor Siemian will serve as his backup. Nathan Peterman remains a camp body at this point, and he’s sure to get plenty of preseason reps.

Running back

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Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

Other

RB

David Montgomery

Khalil Herbert

Trestan Ebner

Darrynton Evans, De’Montre Tuggle

FB

Khari Blasingame

Jake Tonges

Running back is the strength of this Bears offense. David Montgomery returns as the lead back with rising star Khalil Herbert set to see an expanded role in Luke Getsy’s offense. Trestan Ebner is listed in that third spot ahead of Darrynton Evans. Khari Blasingame is the top fullback with Jake Tonges backing him up.

Wide receiver

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Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

Other

WR

Darnell Mooney

Velus Jones Jr.

Dante Pettis

Tajae Sharpe, Nsimba Webster, Dazz Newsome, Kevin Shaa

WR

Equanimeous St. Brown

Byron Pringle

N’Keal Harry

Isaiah Coulter, Chris Finke, David Moore

It’s safe to say that the wide receiver room is wide open behind Darnell Mooney. Mooney has been the best wideout in camp, but there are some intriguing names emerging. Fields has shown connections with newcomers Byron Pringle, Velus Jones Jr., Equanimeous St. Brown and N’Keal Harry. But it’s St. Brown who’s made a strong impression on offense through the first week, which is why he’s currently listed in that starter role.

Tight end

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Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

Other

TE

Cole Kmet

Ryan Griffin

James O’Shaughnessy

Chase Allen, Rysen John

There aren’t a lot of questions at the tight end position, where Cole Kmet is the top guy heading into the season. He continues to build his connection with Fields, and he’s been his top target behind Mooney. Veterans Ryan Griffin and James O’Shaughnessy are the top options behind Kmet.

Offensive line

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Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

Other

LT

Braxton Jones

Larry Borom

Julien Davenport

LG

Cody Whitehair

Lachavious Simmons

Zachary Thomas

C

Lucas Patrick

Sam Mustipher

Doug Kramer

RG

Michael Schofield

Ja’Tyre Carter

Dieter Eiselen

RT

Riley Reiff

Teven Jenkins

Shon Coleman

Jean Delance

The offensive line doesn’t come as a big surprise heading into the first preseason game. Rookie Braxton Jones has been taking all of the reps at left tackle while Riley Reiff has been moved to the right tackle spot. Michael Schofield is holding it down at right guard with Cody Whitehair at left guard. While Sam Mustipher has been starting at center, that’ll change when Lucas Patrick returns.

Defensive line

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Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

Other

DE

Robert Quinn

Al-Quadin Muhammad

Dominique Robinson

Sam Kamara

DT

Justin Jones

Khyiris Tonga

Mike Pennel

DT

Angelo Blackson

Micah Dew-Treadway

LaCale London

Trevon Coley

DE

Trevis Gipson

Mario Edwards

Carson Taylor

Charles Snowden

The defensive line doesn’t come as too much of a surprise with Robert Quinn and Trevis Gipson leading the way at defensive end. Al-Quadin Muhammad could certainly challenge Gipson for that starting job, but he’s sure to see plenty of reps. No surprise with Justin Jones at the 3-technique position, but it’s Angelo Blackson who is at that nose tackle spot.

Linebacker

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Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

LB

Roquan Smith*

Matt Adams

Caleb Johnson

LB

Nicholas Morrow

Jack Sanborn

DeMarquis Gates

LB

Joe Thomas

Noah Dawkins

Javin White

*Smith is on the PUP list

Roquan Smith has been sidelined for all of camp as he remains on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and deals with a contract dispute. But there’s no debating he’ll be the starting weak-side linebacker when he returns. Nicholas Morrow is also a lock at the middle linebacker position. But everything else is up for grabs, but the strong side is coming down to Matt Adams and Joe Thomas. Thomas gets the first look at SAM with Adams filling in for Smith during camp.

Cornerback

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Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

Other

CB

Jaylon Johnson

Tavon Young

Duke Shelley

Greg Stroman Jr., Thomas Graham Jr., Jaylon Jones

CB

Kyler Gordon

Kindle Vildor

Lamar Jackson

Jayson Stanley, BoPete Keyes

Rookie Kyler Gordon appears to be the X-factor in the cornerback room. Gordon has been getting looks both outside and in the slot during the first seven practices. There have been different starting combinations depending on where Gordon is lining up. It starts with Jaylon Johnson and Gordon on the outside with Tavon Young at nickel, but it’s been Kindle Vildor getting a look on the outside with Johnson when Gordon is in the slot. There’s even been a grouping with Johnson and Gordon outside and Vildor at nickel cornerback.

Safety

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Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

Other

S

Eddie Jackson

DeAndre Houston-Carson

Elijah Hicks

A.J. Thomas

S

Jaquan Brisker

Dane Cruikshank

Michael Joseph

Davontae Harris

For all intents and purposes, the Bears are set at safety. Eddie Jackson will start at free safety with Jaquan Brisker manning strong safety. Brisker continues to make a strong impression in camp, where both he and Jackson have notched interceptions. DeAndre Houston-Carson and Dane Cruikshank are the top reserves, and they’ll also serve as special teams contributors.

Special teams

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Position

1st string

2nd string

3rd string

Other

K

Cairo Santos

P

Trenton Gill

LS

Patrick Scales

H

Trenton Gill

Trevor Siemian

KR

Khalil Herbert

Velus Jones Jr.

Byron Pringle

Trestan Ebner

PR

Dazz Newsome

Velus Jones Jr.

Nsimba Webster

The Bears special teams will look different for the first time in a few years following the departure of Pat O’Donnell. Rookie Trenton Gill takes over the starting duties at punter while Cairo Santos and Patrick Scales are back at kicker and long snapper, respectively. At kick returner, it’s Khalil Herbert getting the look with Dazz Newsome taking punts. Velus Jones Jr. is listed as the backup for both.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire