Bears Eyeing Ex-Saints DB & Former Rival LB Amid Injury Issues

Blake Lynch

Getty The Bears worked out ex-Vikings LB Blake Lynch.

The Chicago Bears are looking to add defensive depth heading into their Week 4 matchup against the New York Giants. According to the NFL’s September 27 waiver wire, the Bears brought five defensive free agents in for workouts.

Chicago had three linebackers in for tryouts: Kuony Deng, Tae Davis and Blake Lynch, and they also worked out defensive backs Isaiah Pryor and Tevaughn Campbell.

Starting cornerback Jaylon Johnson went down a quad injury before the team’s Week 3 win over the Houston Texans, and linebacker Matt Adams also missed the game. The respective statuses of both Johnson and Adams remain in question for the Giants matchup, so it’s possible that the Bears will sign one of the above players and/or elevate someone else from their 16-player practice squad.

Kuony Deng, Tae Davis & Blake Lynch: Background & Experience

Lynch, 25, played his college ball at Baylor, where he started 32 games and displayed an uncanny versatility, playing five different positions: cornerback, linebacker, safety, running back and wide receiver.

The 6-foot-3, 233-pounder has played linebacker since singing with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2020. Lynch played in 20 games for the Vikings, racking up 47 total tackles (one for loss), a forced fumble, two passes defensed and 2.0 sacks.

Deng, 24, started at inside linebacker at the University of California-Berkeley for two seasons, but later moved to outside linebacker in 2021. He he signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an UDFA in April of 2022, but was part of the team’s final roster cuts in August.

He’s big for a backer: 6-foot-6, 240 pounds, but he’s raw, so he’d be a PS signing first. Over his three seasons with Cal-Berkley, he amassed 154 tackles (10 for loss), eight pass breakups, eight passes defended, two forced fumbles six quarterback hurries and 3.5 sacks.

Davis, 26, signed with the Giants as an UDFA in 2018. Another versatile defender, he played safety at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for 49 games before moving over to outside linebacker his senior season.

The Giants waived him in 2019, and the Cleveland Browns picked him up after that. He hasn’t played in a regular season game since 2020, but over his four seasons in the league, he has appeared in 40 games (five starts) and has accumulated 52 total tackles (two for loss), five QB hits and 2.0 sacks.

Isaiah Pryor & Tevaughn Campbell: Background & Experience

Prior spent three years playing safety with the Ohio State Buckeyes from 2017 to 2019, transferring to the University of Notre Dame in 2020. Throughout his collegiate career, he amassed 95 total tackles (six for loss), 3.0 sacks, seven pass breakups and an interception.

The 6-foot-1, 204-pound Prior signed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent after the 2022 draft. He landed on the Saints’ injured reserve list with an undisclosed injury during the preseason game and was later released with an injury settlement.

Campbell, 29, is the oldest of the lot. The Scarborough, Ontario native played college ball in Saskatchewan with the Regina Rams, and spent 2015-2018 playing for various Canadian Football League (CFL) teams, including the Montreal Alouettes and the Calgary Stampeders.

The 6-foot, 200-pound cornerback landed with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2019, and after making the practice squad that year, made the active roster in 2020. He played in 30 games for the Chargers, starting 11. Over his two-year career in the NFL, he has accumulated 62 total tackles, seven passes defensed, two forced fumbles and a defensive touchdown.

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