In the NFL, every defense that thrives does so with a strong secondary. That is the case for the Chicago Bears, where they are led by one of the top safeties in the league. The Bears have a storied history at the safety position, and this year’s team looks to continue that history. With the Bears about to begin the preseason, here are the safeties who look to make their mark come September.
He began camp on the non-football injury list, but was finally cleared to practice prior to the Bears' first preseason game. He’s been a force for this defense since entering the league in 2017, and he earned a four-year, $58 million contract extension just before last season because of the work he’s put in. The two-time Pro Bowler has only missed two games in his career and has posted 266 tackles, 31 pass deflections, 10 interceptions, seven forced fumbles, and three defensive touchdowns. The former Alabama standout is the leader of this group.
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Tashaun Gipson Sr.
The former Houston Texan filled a void for the Bears last year, and now he looks to take things to the next level. He started all 16 games in 2020 and recorded 66 total tackles, seven pass deflections, and two interceptions. Gipson is the most experienced player of this bunch, and his leadership will be heavily counted on.
He earned his way onto this roster as a special teams player but has since found his way into the rotation. Houston-Carson has played in every game in each of the last two seasons, with last year being his most productive season to date (15 combined tackles, three pass deflections, one interception, one fumble recovery). Not only will he need to increase his production this year, Houston-Carson will also need to take on more of a leadership role.
Like Houston-Carson, Bush also began his Bears career as a special teamer — Chicago drafted him in the fourth round of the 2016 draft — and proved himself for more responsibilities. He recorded his first career interception last year and also tied his career-high in pass deflections (2). Bush is also looking to increase his numbers in 2021.
After winning a Super Bowl with Kansas City two seasons ago, the Bears brought him in to add depth to this position. But he opted out of last season due to the pandemic. Now Lucas is ready to carve out a spot with this team. And he’s a favorite to do so after making 39 total tackles, three pass deflections, and one interception during his two seasons with the Chiefs.
He hasn’t played a game since 2018 (Detroit), as he spent the 2019 season on the San Francisco 49ers practice squad and was released by the team last season with a non-football injury designation. In 22 games over two seasons with the Lions (second-round pick in 2017), Tabor accounted for 42 tackles and made five starts in that span. But he hasn’t played a meaningful game in nearly three years, so he needs to put some solids games and practices together this preseason.
Christian has more experience than Tabor, but he still has an uphill climb to make this roster. He’s registered 83 tackles in 56 games (1 start) since 2016, and technically this is his second chance with the Bears. He was on the Bears' practice squad to start last season, but the Jets signed him to their active roster. He only appeared in one game for New York before eventually being let go. Now he’s looking to land an official roster spot with the Bears.
Joseph has bounced around between the practice squad, injured reserve, and COVID-19 list since the Bears brought him in back in 2018 as an undrafted rookie out of Dubuque. Like Tabor, Joseph also needs to prove himself if he wants to stay on board come September.