The Chicago Bears must have Javon Wims on the roster bubble
Time has to be up for Javon Wims at this point, right? Wims was drafted in the seventh round in 2018. He is not likely worth keeping on the practice squad this season and should not be worth a spot on the active roster unless he shows a complete shift in his efficiency during training camp. Even then, he might be a long shot to make the final roster.
In three years with the team, Wims saw his best opportunity to make an impact in 2019 when he played on 46% of the offensive snaps. Even seeing that many snaps, Wims only caught 46.2% of his targets. Yuck. He gained 186 yards on 18 catches and scored one touchdown.
Wims saw his snap percentage cut nearly in half as he only saw 28% of the offensive snaps in 2020. Wims saw 12 targets and caught six of them for 48 yards. He scored another touchdown, but his inability to make plays despite seeing opportunity after opportunity is why Wims should not be given another chance. I’m sure everyone remembers his dropped touchdown versus the Saints in the playoffs last year.
In the end, I’d rather see Dazz Newsome or even Riley Ridley get a shot as Wims moves onto another team and hopefully finds better success.
Riley Ridley is also on the Chicago Bears roster bubble
Speaking of Riley Ridley, he too is likely on the roster bubble as the Chicago Bears approach training camp. Ridley better come out and play well throughout the month of August or he too could find himself on another team. Ridley might be worth trying to stash on the practice squad as he’s been in the league a year less than Wims and has been given fewer opportunities to see the field.
It is strange that Ridley has not seen the field more often. He obviously is not showing enough during practice to be given the opportunity to make plays on game day. Ridley was a fourth-round pick in 2019, and honestly, I thought the selection would pan out better than it has for Ryan Pace.
I never envisioned Riley Ridley becoming as good as his brother Calvin, but I thought he’d at least play more than 10% of a team’s snaps. That is the snap percentage he saw his rookie year. Last year, that number dropped to four percent. Ridley does not even contribute enough on special teams to stick around. Wims could remain on the team over Ridley because of his special teams’ contributions. He could become the next Joshua Bellamy without the off-the-field scandal.
Where Ridley stands out over Wims is his ability to perform better when given an opportunity during games. Although the sample size is small, Ridely has a 90.9% catch rate. He has caught 10 of his 11 targets for 108 yards, but he has yet to find the end zone. I am hopeful Ridley sees more opportunities, but it will be difficult unless he proves himself at training camp.
Will the Chicago Bears finally move on from Ryan Nall?
The running back group is very deep this year for the Chicago Bears. David Montgomery proved last season that he can be one of the more dominant running backs in the NFL. Tarik Cohen is returning from injury and the team signed Damien Williams this offseason. These three seem to be locks to make the final roster.
Ryan Nall has been with the team since 2018. He has had a decent run as an undrafted free agent out of Oregon State. Nall made the practice squad in 2018 and saw playing time in 2019 and 2020 due to injuries. In 2019, Nall gained eight yards on two carries. Nall did not have a carry in 2020 but caught eight of nine targets for 67 yards and the first touchdown of his career.
He was somewhat of a camp favorite by many fans, but he is going to struggle to make the team now that Montgomery, Cohen and Williams are available. Last year the team kept four running backs, but I don’t see Nall beating out his former Oregon State teammate Artavis Pierce and 2021 sixth-round pick, Khalil Herbert. Nall is clearly on the bubble and will need to shine in training camp to have any hope of making the team.
That said, he does seem to be viewed highly by many coaches and this is why he, along with Javon Wims and Riley Ridley, are all potential candidates to shock fans and make the final roster.
The Chicago Bears could look to move on from J.P. Holtz this year
The final player on this list who could be on the roster bubble is J.P. Holtz. The Chicago Bears claimed Holtz off waivers from the Washington Football Team back in 2019. Holtz contributed a decent amount that season as the tight end position dealt with injuries and went through a transition due to lack of talent.
That year, Holtz played 31% of the Chicago Bears’ offensive snaps. He did not account for much statistically though as he caught seven of eight targets for 91 yards. However, with the additions of Jimmy Graham, Cole Kmet and Demetrius Harris in 2020, Holtz saw his snap count on offense drop drastically to only 8%. His snap counts on special teams went up though from 35% in 2019 to 47% last year. His only target actually ended up being an interception.
Demetrius Harris is gone, but with the addition of Jake Butt, Holtz could struggle to remain on the team. It will come down to if the team decides to keep five tight ends as they did last season or only four this year. Holtz could remain on the team only because of his special teams play. Jesper Horsted would be the other tight end who could push Holtz off the roster, but the Chicago Bears may elect to keep him on the practice squad instead. Either way, Holtz could be on the bubble.