Bears Bring in Familiar Face on Offense for Tryout

Bears coach Matt Nagy

Getty The Bears are bringing a familiar face in to help with their offensive line issues.

The Chicago Bears have the most dilapidated offensive line they’ve had in recent memory. With just one starter currently available for Sunday’s upcoming matchup against the Tennessee Titans, the Bears have been scrambling all week to patch together a unit that can be semi-serviceable.

Thursday, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reported that the team was planning on bringing in former center/guard Eric Kush for a visit. According to Briggs, the Bears plan to sign him after he passes his physical and goes through COVID-19 protocols.

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Eric Kush & The Bears: A Brief Refresher

Bears head coach Matt Nagy is quite familiar with Kush, who he also worked with in Kansas City. Kush was selected by the Chiefs in the sixth round of the 2013 draft, and he played in three games over the 2013-14 seasons, starting one. Nagy served as quarterbacks coach in Kansas City at the time. After two years in KC, he played seven games with the Rams in 2015.

Kush then headed to Chicago for his first stint with the team in 2016, two years before Nagy’s arrival. He played in eight games for the Bears that year, starting four. After signing a two-year extension with Chicago early in 2017, Kush was injured in training camp that season and wound up missing the entire year. He stayed on in 2018, where he was reunited with Nagy.

Kush began 2018 as Chicago’s starting left guard. He started seven games that year before tweaking his neck and seeing then-rookie James Daniels take his place. Kush was versatile on the line in his time with the Bears, as he also helped at right guard when Kyle Long was injured. He signed a two-year deal with the Cleveland Browns after the 2018 season, and he played in 16 games for the Browns last season, starting seven. He was released by Cleveland early this year and had yet to catch on anywhere else. Now, he’ll be heading back for another stop in the Windy City.

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Bears’ Offensive Line is Currently a Mess

Left tackle Charles Leno Jr. is the team’s only starter available at present. Undrafted free agent Alex Bars will likely make his first start at center after the team’s starter, Cody Whitehair, went down for a calf injury before landing on the reserve/COVID-19 list. It has yet been determined whether Whitehair has tested positive more than once — that should be known late Friday or Saturday — but offensive lineman Jason Springs also landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list this week, and starting guard Germain Ifedi was deemed to be high-risk as a result of his proximity to Spriggs, so he’ll also be out for a bit.

Rashaad Coward will likely get the start at right tackle with starter Bobby Massie also out. One of the team’s seventh-round selections — Arlington Hambright should also get his first career start Sunday. The Bears also brought their other seventh-round pick, Lachavious Simmons, up from the practice squad for o-line depth this week, so it’s no wonder they’re scrambling to sign veteran linemen.

Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor described the team’s situation at offensive line like this Thursday: “Instead of tossing one ball in the air, we’re tossing about five.” Sounds about right.

Kush won’t be able to join the team right away, but if he passes his physical and clears COVID protocols, he should be available to start Week 10 against Minnesota.

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