Bears roster at 76 as deadline approaches

We now have roster moves reported from three of our four precincts as the NFL's first cutdown deadline approaches Monday afternoon. The Minnesota Vikings are at 75 players, the Green Bay Packers are at 85 players and the Chicago Bears, as of Sunday afternoon, were at 76.

The Bears got there by cutting nine players -- the full list, with no surprises, from ESPNChicago.com -- and dealing with two injured players. Rookie safety Brandon Hardin, the Bears' third-round draft pick, was placed on injured reserve because of a neck injury he suffered Aug. 18. Meanwhile, receiver Johnny Knox was shifted to the version of the physically unable to perform list that applies to the regular season.

Knox, who suffered a serious back injury last year, is now ineligible to play in the first six games of the season. No one has ruled Knox out for the season, but given the severity of his injury, it would be quite an achievement if he plays in 2012.

We had included Hardin in our Rookie Buzz series because at 6-foot-3 and 217 pounds, he has the kind of build to match up against the big receivers and tight ends in this division. Now, he will attempt to come back in 2013 after missing two full seasons of football. He didn't play last season at Oregon State because of a shoulder injury.

We'll keep you updated on the continued comings and goings over the next 24 hours.