BOURBONNAIS- The defensive line continues to be a focal point for the Bears down at Olivet Nazerene University this week. But it’s not because of anything they are doing on the field, it’s because of what’s happening with the depth chart. It all started with the retirement of defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis as soon as everyone reported to camp. The Bears signed end/tackle Jamaal Anderson to replace Ellis that same day.
Then on Monday, defensive end Turk McBride went down with a season-ending injury. McBride’s injury knocked the Bears roster back down to 89 players and for a while it was believed that the roster would stay that way. Considering the Bears limited salary cap space they are left with few options on the free agent market. But now, general manager Phil Emery has decided to bring the roster back up to 90. He is doing so by signing rookie defensive end Josh Williams.
Williams, an undrafted rookie free agent participated in the Bears rookie minicamp back in May on a tryout basis. He was not invited to the full-team minicamps or OTAs in June. He originally played his college ball at Nebraska before transferring to Kansas. Expect Williams to sign for the rookie league minimum due to the lack of funds that the Bears have available at this point in time. He will also have his work cut out for him as he will be competing for roster spots against the aforementioned Jamaal Anderson, along with likely starter Julius Peppers and starting contenders Corey Wootton and Shea McClellin.
He will also have to work his way past Aston Whiteside, Kyle Moore, Cheta Ozougwu and fellow rookie Cornelius Washington. He is expected to report to camp in time for Wednesday’s practice. Follow me on Twitter @GabeSalgado82