The Chicago Bears still have a lot of work to do, but a few veterans on the team could be relegated to the bench because of rookies.
For a team like the Chicago Bears that went 3-14 in 2022, there are still several holes to fill and opportunities to be seized. That includes the division and several starting positions on the field.
Unless you have elite-level talent at a position, any roster spot is open for change. Right now, the Bears do not have elite-level players. They are just good enough to start. As such, all spots are up for grabs, with the exception of Justin Fields, but even he has a leash.
That said, it’s important to note that nothing is set in stone until Week 1, and until then, there is so much time to determine who gets on the field and who does not. While rookie Darnell Wright will lock down the right tackle spot on Day One, the rest of the rookies from this year’s class have nothing guaranteed. But some can surprise.
Let’s take a look at some who have the best chance of overtaking the man ahead of them.
Chicago Bears rookies who could replace veterans in the starting lineup
No. 1: Jaylon Johnson is replaced by Tyrique Stevenson as CB1 and Terrell Smith takes over at CB2, keeping Kyler Gordon in the slot.
Jaylon Johnson being replaced by a rookie? That sounds rather shocking, but at the same time, his stats don’t exactly scream a mega-extension. It would be a nice story if he was kept around, but the lack of interceptions on his resume leaves a cause to pause.
Furthermore, when a team drafts two cornerbacks, doesn’t that sound like a sign that the team might be deciding to move in a different direction? Possibly. Only Eddie Jackson looks like he may stick around, but it’s also plausible that he, too, moves on within the next season and gets replaced by another rookie.
Whatever the situation, don’t be surprised to see No. 33 on the bench if that happens. It seems like a shock because No. 33 at cornerback has meaning in Chicago; see Charles Tillman. But this is not about loyalty; it’s results first.