My favorite thing about overnight rain is that it gives me an out on watering the grass. That’s one fewer chore to do today. And while that might not seem like much, it all adds up in the end.
• The NFL waiver period opens at 11 a.m. CT, which means it’ll be open by the time you read these Bits. In short, teams need to put in waiver claims for players who were waived Friday or Saturday by 11 a.m. CT. If a team is awarded a player, they have an hour to make a corresponding roster move. So sometime around noon, I expect to see a flurry of moves around the league.
• After finishing 8-8 last season, the Bears have the 19th waiver priority. So, for instance, if the Bears and Rams put a waiver claim on the same player, Chicago would get the player because of the team’s place on the wire.
• As for who’s on the waiver wire:
Players available on waivers tomorrow include: QB Josh Rosen, WR Hakeem Butler, WR Robert Foster, K Chase McLaughlin, QB Josh Dobbs, CB Sidney Jones, CB Rasul Douglas, WR Ryan Switzer, RB Dare Ogunbowale, K Matt Gay and WR Trey Quinn. Much more roster churning ahead.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 6, 2020
• I can make a case for any number of these players. The Bears could use running back depth (Dare Ogunbowale). Help at receiver (Ryan Switzer played with Mitchell Trubisky at UNC, Hakeem Butler had high pre-draft grades in 2019) would be nice. The cornerbacks room (Sidney Jones? Rasul Douglas?) could use help. And in what is turning into a tradition unlike any other in these parts, the kicking game (Chase McLaughlin? Matt Gay?) is under the microscope.
• Not a waiver claim, but the Bears already made a roster move today. The team signed defensive lineman Mario Edwards, who was previously with the Saints. The 2015 second-round pick brings depth to a group that lost Eddie Goldman (opt out) earlier in the summer.
• At this point, you’re probably curious as to why I mentioned the Bears have 54 players on their roster right now. The quick answer is that safety Marqui Christian is stashed on the suspended list to start the year. Christian, who signed in August, must serve a two-game suspension (undisclosed reason) before he can return to action. While serving his suspension, Christian doesn’t count against the 53-man roster. Once Christian becomes eligible, the Bears will have a tough decision to make in the secondary. It’s possible DeAndre Houston-Carson, Sherrick McManis, or Duke Shelley could be on the chopping block before Week 3 rolls around.
• It wasn’t a completely surprising cut, but seeing Kevin Toliver II go was probably the most high-profile roster move Chicago made on Saturday. Remember, Toliver opened camp competing for a starting job opposite of Kyle Fuller. I imagine putting Toliver on waivers is a sign that rookie Jaylon Johnson is a full-go to start in Week 1. That’s a positive sign.
• And yet, part of me wishes Toliver could have reached his potential in Chicago. The Bears signed Toliver as an undrafted free agent in 2018, and he even made some starts. Chicago had done well previously by signing cornerbacks like Bryce Callahan and Cre’Von LeBlanc as UDFAs, then developing them as young contributors. And with Toliver’s prospect pedigree as a top-tier high school recruit and LSU standout, there was hope he would be next. Unfortunately, that’s not how the cookie crumbled in Chicago.
• It took some time for my brain to process it, but seeing no undrafted free agents on the initial 53-man roster was jarring at first. Usually a few of these types of players stand out in camp and make compelling cases to make the roster. Some even make the cut to start the year. Others land on the practice squad and join the team later. But not having preseason games kept a bunch of potentially useful guys from putting out tape to impress the league’s other 31 teams. Hopefully, expanded practice squads can give players chances they otherwise wouldn’t get.
• Among those who I expect to land on the practice squad is Ledarius Mack. I wasn’t sure Khalil’s younger brother would make the season-opening roster, but I thought there was an outside chance he would make it when Isaiah Irving was waived/injured. Perhaps a spot on the practice squad will keep him around. Because while I’m unsure of his ultimate role in the NFL, I think it would be cool to see the Mack brothers on the field at the same time.
• The Bears kept only five tight ends. Here’s hoping the jokes can subside (for at least a week).
• Seeing Riley Ridley and Javon Wims make the season-opening roster makes me think Cordarrelle Patterson’s move to running back is more than just for show.
• Roster movement elsewhere among Bears 2020 opponents:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 6, 2020
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 6, 2020
• Very cool
Vic Fangio said today that Emily Zaler, who had spent camp as a strength and conditioning intern, has been extended for the entire year. She becomes the Broncos' first female in-season coach.
— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) September 5, 2020
• An important league update:
Here’s a breakdown of the NFL-NFLPA testing cadence in season. Notable right now: A player claimed off waivers can enter club facility on Day 2 with two negative tests. So the dozens likely to claimed Sunday should be available for the normal start of the practice week Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/SvFwdTECDM
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 5, 2020