Braunecker survives cuts, makes Bears roster

Photo by Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press
Forest Park alum Ben Braunecker (84) survived the NFL’s roster cut deadline and will be a member of the Chicago Bears 53-man squad when they open the season this Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers. Braunecker had six catches for 81 yards and a touchdown during this preseason with the Bears.

From Herald Staff Reports

September 1 — it’s the date when all 32 NFL teams must have their 90-man preseason rosters cut down to just 53 players.

For any pro football player on the bubble of making the cut for their respective squad, waiting to see if you will be one of the 53 selected to stay can be nerve-wracking.

Forest Park alum Ben Braunecker found himself on the right side of the cuts as he survived the roster trimming and will be on the Chicago Bears 53-man roster when they begin their regular season schedule this Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers.

Braunecker had six catches for 81 yards along with one touchdown during the Bears 2018 preseason campaign that saw them finish 2-3.

He was one of five tight ends that made Chicago’s opening night roster along with Trey Burton, Dion Sims, Daniel Brown and Adam Shaheen. With Shaheen currently on injured reserve, Braunecker is listed as the Bears third-string TE according to the official team depth chart.

Braunecker saw action in eight games for the Bears in 2017 and played in 13 games during his rookie season in 2016. He has four catches for 41 yards during his career with all of the receptions coming during his rookie year.

He’s also spent a lot of time on the Bears special teams unit as a member of the kickoff team as he’s recorded a career total of eight tackles.

While Braunecker has spent time on the Bears active roster in both 2016 and 2017, this is the first time he’s survived opening roster cuts and been named to the 53-man roster immediately to start the season.

Braunecker was a three-year football starter at Forest Park and also played basketball, soccer and competed in the discus and shot put in track and field. In football, he was named to the All-State honorable mention roster as a senior and also earned All-Conference and all-Southwestern Indiana honors. He finished with 51 career receptions, 1,254 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also had 1,005 kickoff return yards and 101 tackles and seven interceptions on defense.

He played his college football at Harvard where he finished with 61 receptions for 1,168 yards and 10 touchdowns in 25 career games.

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