7 Bears players on the roster bubble heading into training camp

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When the Chicago Bears kickoff training camp later this month, they’ll bring a roster of 90 players with them. By the end of camp and preseason, that roster will be trimmed to just 53 players and a group of practice squad players.

There are several veterans who could find themselves out of a job before the start of the regular season given some new additions on the roster and some competitive position battles at wide receiver, cornerback and inside linebacker.

Here’s a look at seven notable Bears who are on the roster bubble ahead of training camp.

WR Javon Wims

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Javon Wims has been solid for a former seventh-round pick, where he's occupied the fourth wide receiver spot since joining Chicago in 2018. But the last impression by Wims was when he dropped a sure-fire touchdown pass in the end zone against the Saints in the wild-card playoff loss. While Wims has managed to hold down a roster spot for the previous three years, his spot isn't as secure anymore. The Bears have added three new wideouts who have a good chance to make the roster in Marquise Goodwin, Damiere Byrd and rookie Dazz Newsome. Barring one heck of a training camp by Wims, he could find himself out of a job.

WR Riley Ridley

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While Wims is on the roster bubble, third-year pro Riley Ridley is even more at risk of losing his roster spot. In three years, Ridley has only played in 10 games for Chicago, and he usually serves as a healthy scratch on game day. Ridley's lack of playing time on the field doesn't bode well for his chances of locking down one of those valuable six roster spots for receivers. Ridley has had three years to show the Bears his potential, but unless he suddenly has a breakout performance, Ridley likely won't be on the 53-man roster come September.

CB Artie Burns

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Last training camp, Artie Burns was getting first-team reps at cornerback opposite Kyle Fuller before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Jaylon Johnson went on to win the starting job, and the rest is history. With a starting spot up for grabs opposite Johnson, Burns is not only going to have to battle for the starting job but a roster spot. The Bears have a slew of cornerbacks battling it out for either outside corner or slot corner, including Kindle Vildor, Desmond Trufant, Duke Shelley, rookie Thomas Graham Jr. and Tre Roberson. Still, while Burns is on the roster bubble heading into camp, his chances of locking down a roster spot are greater than most players on this list.

CB Tre Roberson

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Like Burns, Roberson was someone who never really got a chance to prove himself last season when he broke his foot during the offseason before camp even started. But unlike Burns, Roberson's path to landing one of those cornerback roster spots will be more of a challenge. With the competition at the cornerback position -- be it outside opposite Jaylon Johnson or at slot corner to replace Buster Skrine -- Roberson is going to need a strong camp to lock down a roster spot.

RB Ryan Nall

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Ryan Nall has locked down a roster spot behind David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen for the last two seasons, but that could certainly change heading into 2021 given the additions at running back. Chicago signed veteran Damien Williams to a one-year deal, where his familiarity with the offense should be an asset. The Bears also drafted rookie Khalil Herbert, who has a strong chance of locking down a roster spot, given his special teams contributions as a kick returner. But Nall also is a strong special teams contributor, so it might ultimately come down to preference for Chicago.

LB Josh Woods

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One of the big concerns for the Bears last season was depth at inside linebacker behind Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan. Which is why they went out and signed Christian Jones to a one-year deal, and he returns for his second stint with Chicago. While Josh Woods has locked down a roster spot for the previous two years, he'll have to battle Joel Iyiegbuniwe for that fourth inside linebacker spot. Woods played in 15 games for the Bears last year, and he seemed to have a slight upper hand on Iyiegbuniwe. But it's going to take a strong camp for Woods to hold down his job.

LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe

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Joel Iyiegbuniwe has played in at least 15 games over the last three years for the Bears, where he's served as a valuable reserve. But the Bears showed their lack of faith in both Iyiegbuniwe and Woods last postseason when they started Manti Te'o, who was new to the team, in Roquan Smith's place. Following the addition of Jones, Iyiegbuniwe will be battling Woods for that final inside linebacker roster spot, and he's going to need a strong camp to upset Woods.

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