The Chicago Bears just lost two players in one day.
According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the New Orleans Saints are poaching backup kicker Brian Johnson from the Bears’ practice squad. Shortly after that news, Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network revealed that Bears linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu tore his pectoral muscle in the team’s Week 5 win over the Las Vegas Raiders and will miss the rest of the season as a result.
While the Bears were never going to move on from starting kicker Cairo Santos, who currently holds the longest streak of made-field goals in the NFL with 34, Johnson was a nice insurance policy to have at the position. He was perfect this preseason, going 3-3 on extra points while making both field goals he attempted, displaying a solid leg, hitting from 44 and 54 yards out.
But after losing starting kicker Wil Lutz for the beginning of the season, as well as his temporary replacement Cody Parkey (a player the Bears know all too well), the Saints were in desperate need, and Johnson’s standout preseason left him vulnerable just sitting on Chicago’s practice squad.
ALL the latest Bears news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Bears newsletter here!
Bears Lose Solid LB Depth With Attaochu Out for Year
Attaochu, who is in his eighth year, had contributed in all five of the Bears’ games so far this season, and while he wasn’t a starter, he played 40% of the team’s defensive snaps. He registered two total tackles and a QB hit this year.
The 6-foot-3, 262-pound linebacker had played the previous two seasons with the Denver Broncos under head coach Vic Fangio — who is the mentor of current Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai. Attaochu had 8.5 sacks in his two seasons working with Fangio, and many were excited when he signed with the Bears. He signed a two-year deal with Chicago this offseason, so he’ll be back again next year.
In the meantime, a few young players could see their playing time increase.
Follow the Heavy on Bears Facebook page, where you can weigh in on all the latest Bears-related breaking news, rumors, content and more!
Trevis Gipson, Sam Kamara Could See Their Numbers Called More
Gipson, a former fifth-round pick in his second year, has done well in limited opportunities this season, and with Attaochu out, he’ll get more chances to show what he can do as a pass rusher.
In four games so far this season, Gipson has seven tackles (three for loss), two QB hits, 2.0 sacks, two passes defended and a forced fumble, and he has been excellent when it comes to harassing opposing QBs.
Losing Attaochu for the season also resulted in pass rusher Sam Kamara getting moved up from Chicago’s practice squad to the active roster. Charles Snowden was one of the more highly-praised UDFAs the Bears signed after the draft, and while he wasn’t chosen to be on the team’s initial 53-man roster, he showed a few flashes in preseason, and some thought he might get the call now. Instead, Kamara will have an opportunity.