The Chicago Bears 2019 preseason schedule will come to an end on Thursday night when they host the Tennessee Titans. The final preseason game is usually the game in which players who are on the bubble for making the regular-season roster see the most playing time. Unlike in years past, Chicago has its roster set for the most part outside of one or two positions, but there are two or three players who can earn a spot on Thursday night. Here are three Chicago Bears players to keep an eye on against the Titans:
Running Back Ryan Nall
Last season running back Ryan Nall nearly made the team as the team’s fourth running back due to his strong preseason. With the team sitting its top three running backs this preseason, Nall Has made the most of his playing time. Against the Giants and Colts, he has had a rushing attempt of 14 yards or longer. Last Saturday, he had a 69-yard run setting a Bears touchdown.
Nall has value to the Bears as an in-between the tackles runner and as a goal-line back. He has deceptive speed to with one key block, he can break it for a plus 25-yard run. Nall could be one of the final cuts made by the Bears this weekend. The team could keep him on in fear of losing him to another team if they sign him to the practice squad.
Defensive Tackle Nick Williams
On defense, defensive tackle Nick Williams has been one of the more notable players through the first three preseason games. Last week against the Colts, he registered a sack on third down. Williams has been consistent as he has recorded a tackle in each game. He most likely will start and play the entire game against the Titans on Thursday night.
Williams could push defensive end Jonathan Bullard for one of the reserve roles on the defensive line. Bullard through three seasons has failed to be productive as he has just two sacks with none last year. WIlliams could benefit from new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano’s defensive scheme and win a roster spot. If not, he could be one of the first players signed to the practice squad, if not signed by another team for their active roster.
Tight End Dax Raymond
The rookie tight end from Utah State has a big opportunity on Thursday night and needs to capitalize on it. The Bears top two tight ends Trey Burton and Adam Shaheen missed games last season and their health could be an issue in 2019. Burton has dealt with a nagging injury throughout training camp and the preseason. Raymond has just one catch for six yards which came back in the first game against the Panthers.
With a big game against the Titans, the team could look to keep him on with the injury history of the top two tight ends and Bradley Sowell being used more for blocking purposes. The Bears need another pass-catching tight end that can be that “Y” tight end. Raymond was one of the more sought after undrafted free agents and when signed by the Bears, many praised the move. He has potential but needs to make a few big plays on Thursday to demonstrate that potential.