NFL Nation: Roster moves

Bears add Gaines, Ozougwu

September, 24, 2013
9/24/13
5:21
PM ET
The Chicago Bears signed offensive tackle Roger Gaines and defensive end Cheta Ozougwu to the practice squad on Tuesday, and terminated the practice squad contracts of quarterback Jerrod Johnson and offensive tackle Jamaal Johnson-Webb.

Gaines entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens out of Tennessee State.

Ozougwu, meanwhile, played in two games with the Bears last season and contributed three tackles and another stop for lost yardage. It’s likely the Bears added Ozougwu to provide depth along the defensive line because the club could be looking to move defensive end Corey Wootton inside on occasion due to the loss of defensive tackle Henry Melton, who suffered a torn ACL on Sunday in the team’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Ozougwu signed a reserve/future contract on Jan. 2, but the Bears waived him on Sept. 1.

Ozougwu's move to the practice squad could mean the Bears might be looking to promote practice squad defensive end Aston Whiteside, who spent some time in training camp also working inside at defensive tackle.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears whittled to the 75-man roster limit Tuesday by finalizing an injury settlement with quarterback Matt Blanchard.

A second-year veteran, Blanchard fractured a knuckle on his left hand during the team’s win over the San Diego Chargers. Prior to the injury, it appeared likely the Bears would try to keep Blanchard on the 53-man roster or waive him in final cuts with the expectation of adding him to the practice squad.

The problem is there’s no way a team can release an injured player without reaching a settlement.

“I’m just disappointed he was injured. I really liked his progress. I think we resonated that through the times we’ve talked here,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “I think everybody has an idea how we felt about Matt while he was here.”

Blanchard’s settlement makes him ineligible to return to the Bears until after Week 10. After the timeframe for the settlement expires, Blanchard can sign with another team. So it’s likely the quarterback would sign with another club after the length of the settlement -- which is commensurate with the time a player is expected to be out due to the injury -- has expired because he can’t rejoin the Bears until 2 1/2 months into the season.

In making the decision, Trestman said he hasn’t “even thought about” the timeframe for Blanchard’s recovery, adding that “we’ll just see how it goes as we move forward.”

When the team hit the practice field for the portion of Monday’s workout that the media is allowed to view, Blanchard wasn’t out on the field with the rest of his teammates. With the team going into the final exhibition game Thursday not expecting to play any of its starters, it’s likely the team would have played Blanchard for a significant amount of repetitions.

Instead, the Bears will divvy up the snaps to recently-signed quarterbacks Jordan Palmer and Trent Edwards, with the former set to start.

“They’re both really smart guys and knowledgeable. They’ve practiced well,” Trestman said. “I expect that they’re gonna do well.”

Blanchard spent the majority of the 2012 season on the practice squad.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider