Bears running back Chester Taylor remains in limbo as of Monday afternoon after being informed that he wasn’t in the team’s plans only to later be told that he has not been cut by the team.
As reported by the Chicago Tribune, head coach Lovie Smith told Taylor Monday morning that he wasn’t in the team’s plans, but Smith later tried to clarify the conversation between he and Taylor.
“I guess there was a little bit of a misunderstanding on what we talked about,” Smith said after practice. “Chester Taylor is still a part of the team. If a player is released, I will tell him that, ‘You’re released, thank you.’ That is not the case.”
Smith added that he expects Taylor to be at practice Tuesday after Jerry Angelo gave Taylor the rest of Monday off.
I’d wager dollars to doughnuts that Smith jumped the gun on the conversation with Taylor and it leaked out to the public. The Bears probably wanted to shop Taylor around for a potential trade partner to see if they could get a late draft pick before outright releasing him. Now, they have no leverage and it is just a matter of time before they release him before final cutdown on Saturday.
Of course, there could be some hesitation to let Taylor go due to the uncertainty and extent of Marion Barber’s calf injury, sustained against the Titans Saturday night. Assuming Barber can return healthy for the regular season, he’s clearly the team’s choice to be the backup running back to Matt Forte.
Bears waive five players ahead of Tuesday’s cutdown deadline
While Taylor was not among them, the Bears cut five players to get down to the 80-player roster limit that was due by Tuesday. The most prominent of the cuts was former first-round pick of the New York Jets, Vernon Gholston, who showed promise in the first preseason game against the Bills but did not flash enough potential to remain with the team.
Defensive tackle Tank Tyler, quarterback Trevor Vittatoe, center J.C. Brignone and linebacker Tanner Antle were the other players waived.