Bears Elevate 2 From Practice Squad, Cut Ties with Vet LB

Matt Eberflus, Bears

Getty Head coach Matt Eberflus of the Chicago Bears reacts to a play during a game against the Houston Texans in September 2022.

The Chicago Bears made a handful of roster moves one day before opening the regular season at home against the rival Green Bay Packers.

Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 in Houston reported on Saturday, September 9, that the Bears called up a linebacker and tight end from the practice squad and also cut ties with a veteran defender.

“#Bears elevate Stephen Carlson and DeMarquis Gates from practice squad, terminated contract of Dylan Cole,” Wilson wrote.

Bears End Linebacker Dylan Cole’s Short Run in Chicago

Dylan Cole Bears Visit

GettyLinebacker Dylan Cole, formerly of the Tennessee Titans, is no longer part of the Chicago Bears organization after the team terminated his contract on Saturday, September 9, 2023.

Cole has by far the most NFL experience of the three players involved in Chicago’s Saturday roster moves. He has appeared in 61 games and earned nine starts over the past six years. Cole has been nearly equal parts defensive and special teams contributor over that time during stints with the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans.

Carlson, a 26-year-old TE out of Princeton, played two seasons with the Cleveland Browns between 2019-20 and was primarily a special teams contributor. He played 449 special teams snaps over that span, though he also caught six passes for 62 yards and a touchdown, per Pro Football Reference.

Gates, a 27-year-old LB out of Ole Miss, appeared in three games for the Bears in 2022, playing 35 snaps on special teams as well as two defensive snaps.

Bears Defense Owns Advantage Heading Into Matchup With Young Packers Offense

Eddie Jackson, Jaquan Brisker

GettyChicago Bears safety Eddie Jackson #4 celebrates a defensive play with linebacker Nicholas Morrow #53 and safety Jaquan Brisker #9 during an NFL game in 2022.

While Carlson and Gates are most likely to contribute on special teams Sunday, if at all, the Bears defense should be the deciding factor against the Packers in Week 1.

Green Bay has arguably the best offensive line in football, which will make it difficult for Chicago’s defensive front to apply pressure on first-year starting quarterback Jordan Love. However, Love will be without top offensive weapon Christian Watson after the team ruled the wide receiver out with a hamstring injury.

Also suffering from an injury and questionable to play on Sunday is second-year wideout Romeo Doubs. The Packers were already set to field one of the youngest groups of skill-position players in modern NFL history at Soldier Field this weekend. If Doubs joins Watson on the sidelines, most of Green Bay’s pass-catchers will be rookies or otherwise inexperienced players still at extremely early points in their NFL careers.

Stud safety Jaquan Brisker, who figures to be one of the top playmakers on the Bears roster this season, was at risk of missing the game due to an injury he suffered in mid-August. However, head coach Matt Eberflus confirmed earlier this week that Brisker will be a full-go for the season opener.

The only player of note Chicago will definitely be without is starting left guard Teven Jenkins. The offensive lineman will miss at least the first four games of the season after the team designated him to the injured reserve list (IR) with two strained calf muscles.

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