Versatility is critical in any number of position areas and the Bears are counting that quality in an offensive-line group trimmed to just eight in the cutdown to 53 players, including both Brian de la Puente (center/guard) and Michael Ola (guard/tackle). Eight is thin; one likely scenario is to pick up an addition lineman (veteran Eben Britton is the leading candidate) once the Bears are able to protect Marquess Wilson on short-term injured reserve next week.
Starters: Jermon Bushrod, Matt Slauson, Roberto Garza, Kyle Long, Jordan Mills;
Depth: Charles Leno Jr., Brian de la Puente, Michael Ola.
The cuts: Eben Britton, Ryan Groy, Taylor Boggs, Dennis Roland, Ron Turner
Britton didn’t play in the first three games of 2013, then stepped into the role of blocking tight end when Martellus Bennett was hindered by a shoulder injury. Britton grew in the role, starting four of the final 13 games and being a solid sixth man in a unit that was the only one to rank in the top 10 in both sack percentage and rushing average.
He was logging time with the No. 1 offense in place of Kyle Long at right guard when he pulled a hamstring working against Jeremiah Ratliff in a one-on-one pass-protection drill. That effectively cost him a chance to hold onto the swing-tackle position, which has gone to former CFL’er Michael Ola, who started two preseason games while Jordan Mills was down with his foot problem.
De la Puente played both center and guard, giving veteran backup to Garza and both guards.
Complete roster breakdown: