Bears Sign Ex-Rival DB Amid Secondary Issues: Report

Dee Virgin

Getty Corner Dee Virgin is signing to the Bears' practice squad.

Another defensive back is heading to the Windy City.

The Chicago Bears are set to sign cornerback Dee Virgin to the practice squad, as first reported by NFL insider Adam Schefter. Virgin has spent the previous three seasons with the Detroit Lions, where he had a reserve role, playing in 21 games in that time.

The Bears recently benched second-year starting cornerback Kindle Vildor in favor of veteran Artie Burns, and with third-string corner Duke Shelley on injured reserve, the team could use some support in the secondary. Virgin will fill the slot on the practice squad vacated by kicker Brian Johnson, who was poached and signed by the Washington Football Team on November 30.

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Dee Virgin: Background & Stats

Virgin entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of West Alabama in 2017. He spent his rookie year on the practice squad of the Houston Texans, who waived him in September of 2018. The Lions picked him up after that, and he spent the bulk of that season on their practice squad before getting elevated to the active roster late in the year.

He wound up playing in Detroit from 2018-20, accumulating 12 tackles and a forced fumble in his 21 games. He had cups of coffee with the Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers, but he didn’t stay with any of those teams long.

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Bears Have Huge Question Marks at Corner

The Bears were hoping that Vildor, a 2020 fifth-rounder, would be the answer opposite Jaylon Johnson, but neither he nor Burns has been able to offer much resistance where opposing receivers are concerned. Burns is allowing a passer rating of 137.5 when targeted, and Vildor is allowing a passer rating of 136.7, so the Bears will have some work to do in the cornerback department when 2022 rolls around. Johnson is a solid building block moving forward, but he’ll need some help.

The Bears benched Vildor before their Week 12 Thanksgiving matchup against the Lions, which head coach Matt Nagy says he thinks will ultimately be good for the young defensive back, who could eventually make his way back into the starting lineup before the season ends.

“As long as he knows that we’re going to coach him as best as we can, that we support him and believe in him, that’s the only thing that matters,” Nagy said about Vildor on November 30, via The Chicago Tribune. “Then when he gets back out there and does his thing — because he works hard and he practices hard, he’s a good kid and he’s young — so you learn through these. And you understand that sometimes when you’re on the sideline, you’re able to see some things that maybe you weren’t able to see before. So he’ll improve from this.”

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