These Bears players have the most to prove in preseason finale vs. Titans

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This is our weekly staff discussion, where Bears Wire writers share their opinions about a variety of topics involving the Bears. Subscribe to get the latest Bears news delivered to your mailbox every day.

The Chicago Bears will wrap up the preseason Saturday against the Tennessee Titans, where rookie quarterback Justin Fields will get his first NFL start — in preseason, that is.

While Fields doesn’t have to worry about earning a roster spot, there are a handful of players on the roster bubble who have plenty to prove heading into the preseason finale.

Ahead of Saturday’s preseason game against the Titans, our Bears Wire staff is sharing their thoughts on which players has the most to prove in the preseason finale.

Alyssa Barbieri: WR Riley Ridley

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The wide receiver roster has become clearer over the last couple of weeks, including how former fourth-round pick Riley Ridley doesn't factor in. While there's still one game left, Rodney Adams and Dazz Newsome have done enough to earn those final two wide receiver spots on the roster. Ridley hasn't been able to do what Adams has -- make the kind of big plays that stand out to the coaching staff when they're making their decision on who ultimately earns a roster spot. Ridley has one more chance to prove himself against the Titans. But if he doesn't it yet, it's hard to believe he can make up so much ground in just one game. Javon Wims was waived earlier this week, and it feels like Ridley will join him soon after.

Bryan Perez: RB Artavis Pierce

AP Photo/David Banks

Pierce has lost ground to rookie Khalil Herbert this summer and would have likely already been cut if Tarik Cohen were healthy. But Cohen isn’t healthy, which has opened the door for a player like Pierce to make one final impression on the coaching staff to prove he belongs on the active roster for another season. Pierce flashed some upside in 2020, and he had a solid showing in Chicago’s first preseason game against the Dolphins. Unfortunately, he needs to do more — a lot more — to crack the final squad.

Brendan Sugrue: WR Dazz Newsome

AP Photo/David Banks

Call me crazy, but I’m not totally convinced Dazz Newsome has locked up a roster spot on the final 53. The rookie from North Carolina already had a late start to training camp due to his broken collarbone suffered earlier in the summer. Since coming back from that injury, he hasn’t had the type of production many fans were hoping to see. Newsome did take over as punt returner over the last week or so and while he hasn’t done anything to show he can’t handle the job; he hasn’t exactly flashed in the position. Newsome also has just one catch for 7 yards on offense and will hopefully see more playing time on Saturday evening. There was a lot of hype coming out of the draft for Newsome and quite a few people believed he could make an immediate impact. He’ll need to show he’s worth it on Saturday on both offense and special teams. Otherwise I wouldn’t be surprised to see him land on the practice squad to start the year.

Ryan Fedrau: QB Justin Fields

AP Photo/David Banks

Even though Andy Dalton is the Week 1 starter for the Bears, Justin Fields needs to prove that he is NFL ready. Once Matt Nagy pulls the plug on Dalton, he can’t go back and forth with the two. Fields has played better, but statically, hasn’t blown Dalton away during preseason. For Fields, he’s completed just 59% of his passes, throwing for 222 yards and one touchdown. Dalton has completed 61.9% of his passes, throwing for 164 yards and one touchdown. Not to mention, Dalton has thrown 18 fewer passes. Fields was hyped to the moon after how well he played in the third quarter against the Dolphins, but struggled against the Bills second and third team players. It doesn’t help having a banged up offensive line and receives missing balls that have to be caught. The way we see Fields on the field sooner is a solid performance against the Titans this weekend. If he comes out strong and puts together a solid first half, it’ll show the coaching staff that he should be the starting quarterback. If he struggles, it gives Andy Dalton more leeway, knowing that Fields struggled in 2 of his 3 preseason games. [listicle id=479119] [listicle id=479123] [listicle id=479063] [listicle id=479048]

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