Ex-Chiefs Starting Running Back Signs With Bears: Report

Spencer Ware Chiefs Bears

Getty Images Veteran RB Spencer Ware spent five years in Kansas City from 2015-19.

With the Kansas City Chiefs actively seeking running back depth following a multi-week injury to rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire on Sunday, it appears the AFC West champions can cross a familiar face off their search list.

As first picked up by Daniel Greenberg of ChiSportsUpdates and former Chiefs team reporter BJ Kissel, who noticed the change on LinkedIn, the Chicago Bears are planning to sign RB Spencer Ware on Tuesday.

Zack Pearson of BearReport.com is also reporting that Ware will revert to the practice squad rather than the 53-man roster, which currently has one open spot, per the team’s official website. Chicago also cleared a practice squad slot on Monday with the release of DT Tyler Clark.

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Ware Worked out for Chicago on Thursday

According to ESPN’s Field Yates and the NFL’s official December 17 transaction report, the 29-year-old was in Chicago for a workout with the team last Thursday, along with three other backs.

Ware would join David Montgomery, Artavis Pierce and Ryan Nall in Chicago’s running backs group, while jack-of-all-trades Cordarrelle Patterson recovers from a non-serious knee injury suffered during Sunday’s divisional win over his former club, the Minnesota Vikings. Bears head coach Matt Nagy also has a direct history with Ware, as the two were together in Kansas City during Nagy’s stint as the Chiefs quarterbacks coach (2013-15) and offensive coordinator (2016-17).

Originally a sixth-round draft pick (No. 194 overall) of the Seattle Seahawks in 2013, Ware spent five years in Kansas City after one short-lived season with his original club. The two-time Super Bowl champion had his most productive year as a pro in 2016 in place of injured Chiefs All-Pro RB Jamaal Charles.

The 5-foot-10, 224-pounder dominated the Kansas City backfield that year with 1,368 scrimmage yards (921 rushing) and five touchdowns on 247 touches, boosting his career average to 4.6 yards per carry. Unfortunately, Ware has also been impacted by a pair of significant injuries, dating back to 2017 when he missed the entire year due to a torn PCL and just last season in his second stint with the Chiefs, which was cut short after just three games in December due to a torn rotator cuff.

Ware also recently drew interest from the Las Vegas Raiders heading into Week 13, though nothing materialized following his second official visit with the team in as many years.

Chiefs Turning to Another Familiar Face Instead

With Ware presumably off the wish list of running back depth options, the Chiefs are reportedly turning their attention to another one of their former players. Fourth-year RB Elijah McGuire, who spent the better part of last season and this offseason on the Chiefs practice squad, will again work out for the team this week, per Yates on Monday afternoon.

Like Ware, McGuire’s most productive seasons came years ago, but at 26 years old, the 5-foot-10, 214-pounder likely still has something to contribute at this point in his career. His knowledge, albeit limited, of Andy Reid’s offense could certainly benefit the reigning Super Bowl champions in the short term as well.

The former New York Jets sixth-round pick has bounced around since his earlier days, having also spent time on the practice squads of the Cleveland Browns (2019), Dallas Cowboys (September-October) and Miami Dolphins (December). If Kansas City does re-add McGuire this week, he remains a likely practice squad candidate, where he’ll provide insurance behind Le’Veon Bell, Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson.

Update: The Chiefs officially signed McGuire to their practice squad on Tuesday, per the NFL’s official transaction report for December 22.


Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!

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