Six Bears Players at Risk of Losing Playing Time to Rookies in 2024

Vince Carbonneau
May 10, 2024  (9:27)

Tyler Scott in action with the Bears
Photo credit: Chicago Sun Times

With the 2024 NFL Draft now a few weeks in the rearview mirror, it's time to turn our attention to the upcoming season for the Chicago Bears. The anticipation surrounding the team is palpable and rightly so.

The buzz isn't just about the sensational Caleb Williams; there's broader excitement about the team's prospects. In the coming weeks and months, the real work begins as the Bears ramp up their offseason programs and progress toward training camp.
Fans should keep their eyes peeled for upcoming roster competitions, especially since several rookies are poised to snatch playing time from seasoned veterans. While some of these cases are more obvious, there are six players in particular who should be on alert.
Although this year's rookie class is smaller than usual, it's nonetheless impactful.
Tyler Scott, WR: The scenario for Tyler Scott is straightforward. In his second year, Scott was on track for the WR3 spot until the Bears selected Rome Odunze with the ninth overall pick. For now, Scott will play a secondary role, while D.J. Moore and Keenan Allen, along with Odunze, will see significant playing time. However, with Allen's contract ending after 2024, Scott's opportunity to shine might just be on the horizon.
Travis Homer, RB: The focus may not typically be on special teams, but it's crucial. Last season, Homer played 61% of special teams snaps. This season, he faces competition from undrafted free agent Ian Wheeler from Howard, who brings extensive special teams experience and impressive kickoff return stats. Wheeler's ability could not only secure him a spot on the roster but also significant playing time on game days.
Braxton Jones, OT: Had the Bears picked an offensive tackle earlier in the draft, Braxton Jones's demotion would be certain. As it stands, despite the third-round pick being used on an offensive tackle, it signals a lack of confidence in Jones, who seems likely to assume a backup role.
DeMarcus Walker, DE: Beyond Montez Sweat, the Bears lack a proven starting edge rusher. Despite DeMarcus Walker's contributions last year, the Bears felt a need to improve, evidenced by their move to secure Austin Booker from Kansas. Booker's addition suggests he might soon surpass Walker in the lineup.
Jaylon Jones, CB: While Jaylon Jones primarily contributed on special teams last year, his role could be jeopardized by Reddy Stewart, an undrafted free agent from Troy. Stewart's versatile attitude and skills might allow him to surpass Jones, particularly on special teams.
Gerald Everett, TE: While Gerald Everett isn't likely to lose his primary role, undrafted Brendan Bates from Kentucky could edge him out in specific situations. Known for his blocking skills, Bates might see action over Everett in run-blocking plays if he outperforms other contenders like Stephen Carlson.
As the Bears continue to evolve, these shifts in player roles underscore the dynamic nature of NFL team rosters and the ongoing quest for optimization as the season approaches.
MAY 10   |   95 ANSWERS
Six Bears Players at Risk of Losing Playing Time to Rookies in 2024

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