The Chicago Bears will report to Halas Hall for training camp in just over two weeks with an intriguing situation on the offensive line. Chicago released veterans Bobby Massie and Charles Leno Jr. this offseason, indicating that 2021 will see new starters at left and right tackle. Adding depth to the offensive line was also a priority for the Bears this offseason, bringing in names like Elijah Wilkinson but also retaining players like Alex Bars.
Bars, who signed with the Bears as an undrafted free agent following the conclusion of the 2019 NFL Draft enters year three with the hope of possibly starting. While the odds may seem against Bars at the moment, last season saw Bars start eight games, including six starts at right guard, one at center, and one at left guard.
Bars eight starts from last season mean that he’s a versatile option on the interior offensive line, making names like Sam Mustipher, James Daniels, and Cody Whitehair expendable. The scenario of Bars possibly unseating Mustipher, Daniels, or Whitehair is bleak but do not discount what impact Bars can really have, especially as a player who could see some action should the injury bug strike Chicago’s offense.
Per the Bears’ official website, Bars clearly had a major impact on the success of the Bears running game late in the 2020 season, with Bars being a major reason for running back David Montgomery eclipsing 100 yards rushing against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football in week 12.
Even if Bars ends up being a rotational player in 2021, the extra reps he gains throughout the upcoming season could see Bars push for a starting job in 2022, when the Bears will need to address the right tackle position. At that point, the starting job could be Bars to lose, especially as a player who’s showcased both adaptability and flexibility through his first two seasons.
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