The Chicago Bears wasted no time in finding Patrick Scales’ replacement.
Roster Update: We have signed free agent LS Jeff Overbaugh and waived injured LS Patrick Scales. pic.twitter.com/cRzGPnJ9Ln
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 28, 2017
The team announced the signing of Jeff Overbaugh, which was first reported by Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. In a corresponding move to make room for Overbaugh on the roster, the team waived Scales, whose injury paved the way for this move.
Earlier, Biggs reported long snapper tryouts were underway on Monday, with Overbaugh and Jimmy Landes among the first to compete for the newly open position. They clearly must have liked what they saw from Overbaugh to make a move this quickly.
Overbaugh doesn’t have any regular season experience, but the San Diego State product spent time in camp with the Los Angeles Rams in 2016. He was later signed to a reserve/future contract by the Denver Broncos in January, but his time there wasn’t long. Overbaugh was waived in May in order to make room for incoming undrafted free agents.
Landes, who finished as the apparent runner-up in Monday’s tryout, played his college ball at Baylor and was chosen in the sixth round (210th overall) by the Detroit Lions in the 2016 NFL Draft. He didn’t take a regular season snap and spent the season on injured reserve because of a shoulder injury. Landes was released in June when the team traded for offensive tackle Greg Robinson and signed Cyrus Kouandijo.
Scales (knee) was one of five Bears who left Sunday’s game early with an injury, one head coach John Fox believed was serious. Backup tackle Bradley Sowell performed admirably in an emergency role, but the Bears weren’t taking the long snapper position for granted. The team had peace at the position when the ever-reliable Patrick Mannelly held it down from 1998 to 2013. He played 245 games in his career with the Bears, but only recently have we started to recognize his value to the team.
Long snappers have been on the move Monday. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reports the Green Bay Packers have released Derek Hart in favor of Brett Goode, who will serve as the team’s long snapper. Over in the AFC, the New York Jets completed a trade with the Indianapolis Colts for long snapper Thomas Hennessey in exchange for safety Ronald Martin.
While it won’t garner the kind of headlines Cam Meredith’s injury did, losing Scales is still significant. Scales was the Bears’ only long snapper in camp, and was doing a pretty good job. Specialists tend to only receive notice when things are going poorly, so it was easy for Scales to get overlooked. If Overbaugh plays well, he’ll likely receive the same silent treatment.