In anticipation for the Chicago Bears’ pre-season opener against the Carolina Panthers on Friday, the team released their depth chart on Monday.
For the most part, the Bears’ depth chart is as expected but there are a few surprises.
The biggest surprise is that first round pick Kyle Long is listed as co-starter at the right guard position with James Brown.
There is no doubt that Long has been one of the more impressive players for the Bears in training camp, and all indications point to Long being the starter for week 1 of the regular season.
Brown will likely serve as a swing-player backing-up Long as well as left guard Matt Slauson.
No surprise with the wide receivers as Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are the first-team receivers with Earl Bennett being the starting slot receiver. Joe Anderson is currently listed as the team’s fourth wide receiver, and the expectation is that Anderson is on the inside track of making the team.
Behind quarterback Jay Cutler, Josh McCown is listed as the second-string quarterback with Matt Blanchard behind them.
Note that Devin Hester is not listed any under offensive position.
On the defensive side, the position to watch is the left defensive end position. Both Corey Wootton and Shea McClellin are listed as co-starters at the position. Despite dealing with a hip injury, Wootton is expected to be the starter on the opposite side of Julius Peppers.
D.J. Williams is listed as the Bears’ first-team middle linebacker, with second-round draft pick Jonathan Bostic on the second-team. Williams has been sidelined with an injury, during that time, Bostic has impressed the Bears’ coaching staff. Even if Williams is the starter at the middle linebacker position to begin the season, Bostic could take over at the position at some point this season.
Not too much stock can be put into the first depth chart of the season, though, it does provide a glimpse into who the Bears’ coaching staff is impressed with during the early portions of training camp.