Bears Waive Fan Favorite After Failed Physical, Claim Hulking TE Off Waivers

Rysen John

Getty Former NY Giants TE Rysen John has landed in Chicago with the Bears.

After re-signing with the Chicago Bears in April, tight end Jesper Horsted has been waived with a failed physical designation, the team announced on May 11.

The 25-year-old Horsted became a fan favorite despite playing minimally in his three seasons with the organization. Since signing with the Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2019, he has played in just 13 games, catching 10 passes for 108 yards and three touchdowns.

He hauled in just two passes last year, both for TDs, and he seemed to be developing a solid on-field chemistry with quarterback Justin Fields, who connected with Horsted for his first-ever NFL touchdown pass.

In a corresponding roster move, Chicago claimed former New York Giants tight end Rysen John off of waivers, the team also announced.

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Horsted Made the Most Out of Limited Opportunities

Horsted initially made Chicago’s practice squad in 2019 before getting elevated to the active roster later in the season. He wound up playing in six games as a rookie, starting one and finishing the year with eight catches for 87 yards and a score.

After spending the entire 2020 season on Chicago’s practice squad, he made the team’s final 53-man roster in 2021 after a standout preseason that included a three-score performance against the Tennessee Titans.

Part of Horsted’s appeal was his ability to make the most out of his infrequent opportunities. Despite playing in just 10 games in three years, Horsted leaves Chicago with more touchdown receptions than starting tight end Cole Kmet, the Bears’ second-round pick in 2020 who has two in 33 games and 26 starts.

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Rysen John: Background & Stats

John attended college at Simon Fraser University, a Division II school in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he played wide receiver. The Canada native led the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in catches per game (5.3), receiving yards per game (86.1), receptions (55) and total yards receiving (861) as a senior in 2019, while also hauling in 10 touchdowns.

The 24-year-old tight end signed with the Giants in 2020 as an undrafted free agent and also was drafted in the third round (No. 21 overall) by the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League that year. He was waived with an injury settlement due to a hamstring issue in 2020 before landing on the practice squad for the remainder of the season. He landed on IR again the following year and has yet to play in a regular season NFL game.

He did play in two preseason games in 2021, catching six passes on six targets for 72 yards (12 yards per catch).

John is fast — he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds — and he is much taller than the 6-foot-4, 241-pound Horsted. John stands at 6-foot-7 and weighs 237 pounds, and while D-II players never face an easy path in the NFL, he’ll get an opportunity in a tight ends room with only one returning starter, Kmet.

He joins Kmet, James O’Shaughnessy and Ryan Griffin, along with undrafted free agents Chase Allen and Jake Tonges.

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