5 things to watch for in Chicago Bears Pre-season Opener

Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /

Kindle Vildor, Trevis Gipson, and Velus Jones Jr. attempt to stay on the team.

Vildor has gone from a starter at cornerback to being buried on the depth chart. Injuries and inconsistent play are the cause of that. Add in Stevenson and Smith now being on the roster and Vildor faces a major uphill battle just to make the roster.

Gipson has also gone from being one of the starting edge rushers to the end of the depth chart. Regression from last season and Terrell Lewis’ strong camp is why Gipson is so far down the depth chart.

Both are going to need to make plays in the preseason if they hope to earn back the coaching staff’s love.

Another player who needs to show something in the preseason is wide receiver Velus Jones Jr.

Velus had a disappointing rookie season. The former third-round pick missed most of his first training camp and a couple of games with an injury.

When he did play, he did not make much of a positive impact. He did contribute to a loss against the Washington Commanders when he muffed a punt that set up Washington for the winning score.

Jones Jr. is not having a great camp as a receiver, so if he is going to make this team, it will be as the kick and punt returner.

He is listed as the first option there and the coaching staff is impressed with what he is doing at camp.

Dante Pettis is batting injury which has also helped Jones Jr. make a case to be the team’s returner.

Kick-returning was an area that Velus showed promise in last season. With the new kick return rules, Jones Jr. is going to have to show he can make an impact in the punt return game. Oh, and also catch the punt.

If he can do that and break off some returns, he might have a shot to make this team.

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