Kevin White’s injury isn’t the only one causing a roster shuffle at Halas Hall:
Roster Update: We have officially moved Kevin White and Jerrell Freeman to IR. We've also made the following five additional roster moves. pic.twitter.com/zHAR2EEt7f
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) September 12, 2017
The Chicago Bears officially placed White and inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman on injured reserve. As a corresponding move, the Bears moved inside linebacker Jonathan Anderson and receiver Tanner Gentry from the practice squad to the active roster.
Freeman was banged up in Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons, injuring a pectoral muscle and self-reporting a concussion. His loss is a big one for a Bears defense that looked good against an offense expected to lead the Falcons back into Super Bowl contention. Freeman was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded inside linebacker in 2016 (93.9) and had earned an elite grade from the site in each of the last two seasons. His 806 snaps were the fourth most for a Bears defensive player in 2016. He also played on 74.9 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, which was the most out of any Bears linebacker, and that came despite missing four games because of a PED suspension.
Last season, Bears opponents trampled through the Bears front seven after Trevathan went down with a season-ending knee injury. Losing Freeman, who is also a highly-regarded pass defender, could have the same negative impact. Make no mistake, Freeman’s placement on IR could turn out to be a devastating blow for a team already operating with a thin margin for error.
Anderson joined the Bears as an undrafted free agent out of TCU in 2015 and has played 19 games over the last two seasons, making three starts in 2015. His addition to the roster brings depth to the back end of the team’s group of linebackers and bumps Nick Kwiatkoski back into a starting role. Returning to the starting lineup as an injury replacement for Kwiatkoski will be a familiar feeling after starting seven games at inside linebacker in 2016.
Chicago also officially announced the signings of running back Joshua Rounds and wide receiver Mario Alford to the practice squad. Alford was rumored to join the Bears earlier and could help on special teams if called up from the practice squad. Rounds joined the team during the preseason and was part of the last cuts before the Bears settled on a season-opening 53-man roster. The Bears needed to add a running back to the mix after Benny Cunningham suffered an ankle injury and played just four snaps against the Falcons.
The team also announced it has released receiver Rueben Randle from injured reserve. Randle was one of the handful of veteran receivers signed by the Bears in the offseason as the team searched for depth at the position. The former New York Giants standout played one preseason game before being placed on IR with a hamstring injury.
As of this post, there are seven players on injured reserve with White and Freeman joining safety Deiondre’ Hall, offensive linemen Eric Kush and Jordan Morgan, wide receiver Cameron Meredith, and long snapper Patrick Scales.