The Chicago Bears try to solidify their linebackers unit by signing Manti Te’o to the practice squad.
The Chicago Bears recently hosted several linebackers for workouts. They elected to sign one for the season. Former Los Angeles Chargers and New Orleans Saints linebacker Manti Te’o has signed with the team’s practice squad.
Te’o is a product from University of Notre Dame. The Chargers drafted him in the second round with the 38th overall pick in 2013. He spent four seasons as a left inside linebacker. After suffering an injury in 2016, Te’o signed with the Saints for three seasons. He only managed to play 24 games in three seasons there.
Te’o made public headlines in college for his fake girlfriend drama. Despite all of that, Te’o was a consensus All-American. In his several NFL seasons, he has totaled two interceptions, 1.5 sacks and 212 solo tackles with 22 for loss.
When healthy, Manti Te’o is a solid contributor to any defense. The Bears already have Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan, so this move seems to be to merely add depth. The NFL’s new practice squad rules allow teams to carry several veterans, as the Bears also signed running back Lamar Miller recently. It is important to note that the team did lose both Smith and Trevathan to injury in 2019, so Te’o could be an insurance move in case a veteran presence is needed.
Te’o’s experience at multiple positions gives him a chance to increase his potential value. His addition gives the Bears added depth at inside linebacker. Chicago has Josh Woods and Joel Iyiegbuniwe as backups but they are inexperienced. His presence adds experience behind Smith and Trevathan. He could very well become a special team’s contributor as well. In a season where nothing is guaranteed due to COVID-19, the Bears may be simply trying to prepare for any scenario tossed their way.