Have no fear, Chicago Bears fans, quarterback help is on the way: You now have preseason hero Kyle Sloter on your team’s practice squad. Per NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Bears are signing Sloter to their 16-player practice squad after his tryout last week.
He’ll fill the slot vacated by Tyler Bray, who was moved up to the team’s 53-man roster when backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky injured his throwing shoulder in the team’s Week 8 loss against the New Orleans Saints.
Trubisky’s shoulder injury isn’t expected to be serious — he’s currently week-to-week — so it’s likely Sloter will fill in for Bray on the practice squad until Trubisky is activated, which is expected to happen prior to Chicago’s November 29th prime time game against the Packers.
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Kyle Sloter, Preseason Phenom
The 6-5, 218-pound Sloter has never started an NFL game, but he has become a preseason legend of sorts. Sloter went 39-of-51 (that’s a 76.5 percent completion percentage) for 443 yards and four touchdowns during the preseason in 2019 while he was with the Minnesota Vikings, only to get released when the team narrowed its roster that August.
It wasn’t the first time Sloter made preseason magic. After signing with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 2017, Sloter balled out in the preseason, going 31-43 for 413 yards, while throwing three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also had a passer rating of 125.4 in his limited appearances, but he was still waived by the Broncos prior to the start of the season. His stint with the Vikings began after that, and he spent the 2017-18 seasons on Minnesota’s practice squad. The Vikings cut him last year, and he caught on a few different places for the remainder of the season.
Sloter spent part of the 2019 season on both the Arizona Cardinals and the Detroit Lions’ practice squads. He finished the year with the Lions, but Detroit released him this past March. Now, he’ll move to his third NFC North team in three years.
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Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer Had Both Praise, Criticism for Sloter in 2019
Sloter’s stellar preseason stat line impressed Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer at the time. “Every time he’s come in the game, he does well,” Zimmer said about Sloter in August of 2019. “He makes plays, gets the team going. I think he’s done a good job all preseason.”
Still, there’s a reason Sloter has never played in an NFL game in his four seasons. “He’s got to get a lot better in a lot of the other parts of being a quarterback: making the right checks, getting people in the right formation, making sure the motion is there, not missing the time clock when it’s eight yards in front of you,” Zimmer said about Sloter, adding: “There’s a lot of things that he has to get better at if he wants to be the backup quarterback.”