BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Generally speaking, if a player hopes to make the Bears' 53-man roster as a reserve, he must have value to special teams coach Dave Toub.
Monday night's game against the Giants gives Toub another opportunity to evaluate a handful of backups fighting to stick on the final roster. Undrafted rookie tight end turned fullback Kyle Adams is expected to receive significant playing time both on offense and special teams, where Toub plans to give the former Purdue Boilermaker a shot to impress on every phase.
"Kyle is going to be a four-phase player for us Monday night," Toub said. "We're going to get a good, hard look at him."
Toub will also being paying close attention to linebacker Dom DeCicco, who is battling to earn one of the last linebacker positions on the club. In addition, linebackers J.T. Thomas and Chris Johnson will see their first preseason action after missing time in camp with injuries.
After an impressive outing last weekend versus Buffalo, running back Kahlil Bell appears to have the inside track to secure the No. 3 spot in the Bears backfield. Strengthening Bell's case is the fact Toub can use him in a variety of roles on special teams, including in the return game.
"We really want to get a good look at Kahlil Bell," Toub said. "I know he dropped one (a kickoff return against Buffalo) in the endzone, but he needs to get two at least in this game. He's a personal protect on punt, and we're going to try him out in the slot this week. He's probably going to be a 3-4 phase player for us. "
Finding a role for Dane Sanzenbacher, on the other hand, could be tricky. Barring an injury or unforeseen dropoff in play, Sanzenbacher probably makes the 53-man roster as the sixth wide receiver. But because there's no guarantee Sanzenbacher will see a ton of snaps at wideout during the regular season, the Ohio State product must prove he can handle the load on special teams.
"We're trying to find a spot for him," Toub said. "He plays hard, he's a great football player, but the big problem with him will be size on special teams. There are some spots we might be able to use him."
Veteran punter Adam Podlesh kicked the ball well in practice this week, and Toub anticipates a better night in the kicking department when the club travels to New York.