Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy and the rest of his staff had some tough decisions to make before settling on a season-opening 53-man roster. And even though many of the fan favorites who made names for themselves during the preseason were among the cuts, some have made their way back to Chicago’s 10-player practice squad.
Here are the Bears who will be back, but in a different capacity:
We have signed the following Practice Squad players:
OL, Alex Bars
QB, Tyler Bray
DB, Stephen Denmark
LB, Jonathan Harris
TE, Jesper Horsted
WR, Thomas Ives
DB, Michael Joseph
OL, Sam Mustipher
RB, Ryan Nall
LB, James Vaughters
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) September 1, 2019
Quarterback Tyler Bray, tight end Jesper Horsted, wide receiver Thomas Ives, offensive lineman Alex Bars, and linebacker James Vaughters all made positive impressions throughout the season. In the cases of Bray, Bars, and Horsted, they saved their best for last to make it difficult on the Bears’ decision-makers. Bray threw for more than 300 yards in the preseason finale to make the team evaluate whether they should carry three quarterbacks. Horsted made some notable strides in the final two weeks to make a push for that final tight end spot. Bars showed off his versatility by looking good as a guard and tackle. and Ivesand landed on the practice squad despite making a strong case for inclusion on the 53-man roster.
Also joining the squad are recent undrafted standouts such as running back Ryan Nall, offensive lineman Sam Mustipher, cornerback Michael Joseph, and linebacker Jonathan Harris. The Bears were also able to stash 2019 seventh-round pick Stephen Denmark on the practice squad. Denmark missed the preseason with an ankle injury, but has good size (6-2) and timed speed (4.46 40-yard dash) that makes him a developmental project worth working on in a low-pressure environment.
Among the notable players who aren’t back on the practice squad include 2018 sixth-round pick Kylie Fitts, 2017 undrafted free agent receiver (and former camp superstar) Tanner Gentry, speedster defensive back/return specialist John Franklin III, and cornerback Clifton Duck. Oh, and there isn’t a practice squad kicker to be seen for miles.