Raiders Poach DL From Bears Practice Squad: Report

Bears practice squad

Getty Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy saw a veteran defender poached from the practice squad.

Well, that didn’t take long.

A week after he was signed by the Chicago Bears, Damion Square is heading to Vegas. The Bears added Square to their practice squad last week before elevating him to the active roster heading into their Week 1 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. He didn’t play but was there for insurance after starting nose tackle Eddie Goldman went down with an injury.

He’s not sticking around the Windy City, though — the Las Vegas Raiders are set to sign him to their active roster, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. After losing defensive tackle Gerald McCoy early on in their Week 1 win over the Baltimore Ravens Monday night, Jon Gruden and company are looking for some depth on the line.

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Square Wouldn’t Have Been Bad Depth for the Bears

The defensive lineman is 32-years-old, but he has been durable over his last four seasons. Now in his ninth year in the NFL, Square has bounced around a bit, landing briefly with the Cleveland Browns and New Orleans Saints earlier this offseason before coming to Chicago. Chicago has just two nose tackles on its active roster — Goldman and rookie Khyiris Tonga — so Square would have been a solid player to keep around.

He has started all 16 games in each of his last four seasons, and he has 82 starts over a career that has seen him play for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Los Angeles Chargers. Over his career, he has 70 tackles (10 for loss), 6.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and 17 quarterback hits.

Now, he’ll be headed to Vegas to join a defense that includes former Bears linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski.

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This Could Be a Good Sign for the Return of Eddie Goldman

Square’s exit could mean that Goldman is ready to go. The Bears NT didn’t practice leading up to the team’s Week 1 matchup due to a knee injury, and he didn’t travel to Los Angeles for the game.

A key member of the defensive line, Goldman opted out last year due to concerns about COVID-19, and many are anxious to see him back, as he is widely regarded as the team’s best run stopper. Early returns on him this offseason were good, and he looked solid stuffing the run in the team’s third preseason game, which was his only action since the 2019 season.

Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai had glowing things to say about the nose tackle before Week 1.

“Yeah, it was awesome,” Desai said about Goldman’s return on September 8. “He came back in shape — mentally in shape and physically in shape. And you saw, in Preseason 3 when he played, he can still be an X-factor when he’s in there in the game for the limited reps that he was there. So it was fun to see. It was fun to see and I know that he was excited to be back at practice and kind of going through the meetings and all that. So that’s always nice to be around.”

We’ll see if Square leaving means Goldman is back — it’s not a certainty, but it’s likely. Either way, look for the Bears to try and fill his spot on the practice squad soon.

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