- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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A Heisman Trophy finalist as a quarterback at Northern Illinois, Lynch converted to a running back with the Bears, which signed him as an undrafted free agent. The club's decision to waive Lynch doesn't come as a surprise, as he wasn't given repetitions at running back until the fourth quarter Thursday night of the team's loss to Cleveland in the exhibition finale.
Lynch rushed for 18 yards on six attempts in his first action since the preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, and played special teams for the first time with the Bears. Lynch dressed for the third preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, but did not play.
A standout at Mount Carmel, Lynch can still be added to the Bears practice squad, which has been expanded from eight to 10 players starting this season, provided he makes it through waivers unclaimed by another team. Earlier in the week Lynch said he'd be open to joining Chicago's practice squad.
"It's a night and day difference, I didn't really know. I thought I knew what I was getting into, but I really didn't. The physical condition you have to be in to play running back and special teams is night and day. But it's fun to go out there, and the more reps I get the better I get," Lynch said. "Sky's the limit. I feel like being on a practice squad like that, there's so many things I can do. I can play quarterback. I can play running back. I can kind of split out and play receiver, and just give the Bears any chance to get a better look for that week."
NFL rosters must be reduced to 53 players by 3 p.m. CT Saturday, and after Friday's moves the roster stands at 70.
Headed into the matchup against Cleveland, offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer expected Lynch to receive an opportunity to showcase his skills.
"He’s got natural skill to run the football whether he’s at quarterback or halfback," Kromer said. "So this will give him an opportunity to do something, and show it on tape and in a game, and we look forward to it.”
In two seasons as the starting quarterback at NIU, Lynch compiled a record of 24-4 with three victories over BCS teams, and ranks as the No. 3 all-time rusher in the school's history (4,344 yards on 662 attempts and 48 touchdowns).
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