Ledarius Mack is back in a Chicago Bears uniform.
The Bears announced on October 13 that they had added three players to their practice squad, including Mack, guard Dareuan Parker and linebacker Rashad Smith. Chicago also elevated running back Ryan Nall and OLB/DL Sam Kamara to the active roster, and placed right tackle Germain Ifedi and outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu on the injured reserve list.
Attaochu will be out for the remainder of the season, but Bears head coach Matt Nagy told the media Wednesday that Ifedi should be back before the end of the season.
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The Mack Brothers Have Been Reunited in Chicago
Smith, Parker and Mack were all on the team’s practice squad at some point previously. The 6-foot-1, 240-pound Mack spent the entire 2020 season on Chicago’s practice squad, and he trained with older brother, All-Pro linebacker Khalil during the offseason.
The additions of LBs Caleb Johnson, Charles Snowden and Kamara didn’t leave room for the younger Mack this season, however, and he was released.
“I feel like I’m always the big brother when it comes to being out there, especially with him, coaching him through things, even in the offseason, so it’s like a continuation of that when we’re on the field,” Mack said about his younger brother in August before his release.
“It’s just having fun, doing what we love to do, but also understanding that it’s a job that we have to do at a high level. And I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure you do it at a high level. I need you to make sure I keep playing at that high level as well. So show me and tell me what I’m doing wrong as well.”
Now, they’ve officially been reunited.
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What Does Ifedi’s Injury Mean for Bears’ O-Line?
The Bears have been vague about how long Ifedi will be out, saying only that they expect him to return this season. With rookie tackle Larry Borom also on IR, swing tackle Elijah Wilkinson will be filling in for Ifedi. Wilkinson has played 22 snaps at left tackle and 35 snaps at right tackle this season, earning an overall grade of 77.3 in limited action.
Since offensive coordinator Bill Lazor took over play-calling Week 4, the Bears have looked different. Lazor has utilized “12” personnel (that calls for one running back, two receivers and two tight ends) nearly a third of the time on offense, whereas Nagy used “11” personnel 74% of the time, according to Patrick Finley of The Chicago Sun-Times.
Tight ends Cole Kmet, Jimmy Graham and Jesse James have seen their roles increase as blockers with Lazor calling the shots, and Chicago has also incorporated offensive lineman Alex Bars more in certain blocking situations. This should help Wilkinson get acclimated, particularly in the run game, when Bars is often used.