Merritt Stays Active

The Bears 53-man roster is set and the team now turns its attention to the regular season opener against Minnesota.

Henry Burris made enough of an impression on the Bears coaching to make the 53-man roster as the team's third quarterback.

Burris was competing for the position with Ken Mastrole, who was an unknown coming into training camp after spending the last year in NFL Europe and the Arena League. Although, Mastrole had the better numbers in the exhibition season the Bears wanted an athletic quarterback to vary from pocket passers Jim Miller and Chris Chandler.

"Henry's got the ability to move," said head coach Dick Jauron as to why he earned a roster spot over Mastrole. "As a staff and as an organization we've always said as our third we'd like to have something a little bit different than our first two. Henry's mobility is a big difference."

However, there is a chance the Bears will continue to look on the waiver wire for another quarterback.

There weren't many surprises in the cut down to 53 players, but among them was the choice to keep sixth-round pick Jamin Elliot over Kenny Christian. The rookie dropped several passes throughout training camp and didn't do anything in game action to improve his stock.

Christian also struggled to grasp the offense, but made plays in the preseason. He teamed up with Mastrole to beat the Rams with two acrobatic receptions. Then followed that up with four catches in the preseason finale including a nice sideline grab.

There is a chance Christian could wind up on the Bears five-man practice squad, which will be determined Monday.

Chicago decided to keep Ahmad Merritt on the active roster despite missing the majority of training camp and all of the preseason with a broken hand. The injury is estimated to be a ten-week healing process, which means he will not be able to play until October.

The Bears were able to leave the receiver on the roster despite not being able to play because Marcus Robinson proved he's healthy and can contribute.

"Marcus being able to play leaves another spot open for me to sit on the roster and heal," Merritt said. "Otherwise they couldn't have both of us sitting down trying to heal and only playing three guys."

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