The fourth game of the preseason is always full of intrigue, because it will determine which guys on the roster bubble with stick with the team. For the Chicago Bears, there are several young players vying for a shot to see Soldier Field September 8th against the Bengals.
Marquess Wilson may have been just a seventh round pick, but he’s has turned plenty of heads on the Bears coaching staff with his height, reach, and potential explosiveness. Wilson turned a short pass over the middle into a 58-yard gain in the Bears preseason opener. However, his maturity was in question heading into the draft, thanks to a suspension and unceremonious exit from the Washington State program under controversial circumstances. If Wilson can prove he’s grown up, he could turn out to be a late-round steal by G.M. Phil Emery, and will get another opportunity to show what he’s got against the Cleveland Browns.
Meanwhile, undrafted rookie running back Michael Ford flashed his return ability in the Bears’ second preseason game, taking a kick back 100 yards. Ford could find his way on to the 53-man roster if he can repeat his performance from last week against the Oakland Raiders, when he carried the ball nine times, for 58 yards and a score. He’ll have to beat out veteran Armando Allen for the spot, which won’t be easy. Allen was a key special teams performer for the Bears in 2012.
Zach Minter is another undrafted rookie, out of that powerhouse Montana State program. The defensive tackle blew the scouts away at the NFL Super Regional Combine, and reportedly ran one of the fastest times for a defensive lineman this offseason at his pro day. Minter has already showed up on film this preseason. He’s played 82 snaps, and racked up a tackle, a QB hit and four hurries. Minter should see plenty of opportunities with the starters on the sidelines Thursday night.
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