Dec 30, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago Bears linebacker J.T. Thomas (97) reacts to play against the Detroit Lions during 2nd Half of a game at Ford Field. Bear won 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Could #97 See More Playing Time For The Chicago Bears In 2013?

On Sunday, in celebration of the 98-day mark until the Chicago Bears’ regular season opener, Da Windy City took a look at the potential that Corey Wootton has to breakout during the 2013 season. Wooton wears number 98 for the Bears.

Today the magic number is 97. We are honoring the 97-day mark in a similar fashion as Sunday and taking a look at the player that is currently wearing the #97 for the Chicago Bears.

That player is linebacker J.T. Thomas. Thomas was drafted by the Bears in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Thomas was injured for the entirety of his rookie season and saw limited playing time in 2012.

Thomas appeared in all 16 games for the Bears in 2012 but only recorded 5 tackles. Thomas did also record a forced fumble.

Thomas is living the typical life of a player that is drafted in the sixth round. In fact, Thomas may be at a greater disadvantage considering his injury during his rookie season.

Where Thomas does stand to benefit is at the position he is playing. The Bears’ depth at the linebacker position has been highly scrutinized this off-season.

The Bears responded to that scrutiny by signing James Anderson and D.J. Williams while also drafting Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene. Lance Briggs will be one of the three starting linebackers for the Bears, and the other two will be determined during training camp. Williams, Anderson, Bostic, and Greene all appear to have the advantage on Thomas. Though, considering the past discrepancies and injuries of Williams, there may be an opportunity for Thomas to earn more playing time in 2013.

However, the chances of Thomas being a relevant player for the Bears on defense in 2013 are slim at the best. For that reason, don’t expect to see #97 on the field for any significant amount of time in 2013.

Tags: Chicago Bears D.j. Williams J.t. Thomas James Anderson Jon Bostic Khaseem Greene

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