Depth at the linebacker spot was dealt a significant blow this week when the Chicago Bears announced inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman would be placed on injured reserve with a pectoral injury.
With that in mind, the front office looks to be seeing outside help:
#Bears had 4 LBs in for a workout on Tuesday. Akeem Ayers, Chris Casher, Vontarrius Dora & Jonathan Freeny. Also DE Praise Martin-Oguike.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) September 13, 2017
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports the Bears had four linebackers (Akeem Ayers, Chris Casher, Vontarrius Dora, and Jonathan Freeny) in for workouts on Tuesday. The team also hosted defensive end Praise Martin-Oguike.
Ayers is the most experienced player of the bunch. Drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the second round (39th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft, Ayers has started 58 of the 91 games he has appeared in during his career. He’s spent time with the Titans, Patriots, Rams, and Colts, with his best numbers coming while playing for the Titans. In 2012, Ayers picked up a career-best six sacks and tacked on 66 tackles. On top of that, Ayers has missed just five games in his six-year NFL career, and save for the 2014 season, he has played in all 16 games in each of his other five seasons.
Freeny also has some NFL experience, playing 61 games since the start of the 2012 season. He signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers and has spent the last two years with the New England Patriots. Dora, an outside linebacker by trade made his NFL debut with the Denver Broncos last season, but was waived by the team on Sept. 2. Martin-Oguike is a Temple product who was two-time second-team All-American who racked up seven sacks, 41 tackles, 9.5 tackles-for-loss, three forced fumbles, two recoveries, and a pair of blocked kicks as a senior in 2016. He was one of the last cuts from Dolphins camp.
Last week, the Bears had a tryout where they brought in four receivers and four defensive backs. One of those players who came through Halas Hall for a tryout, receiver Mario Alford, signed with the Bears’ practice squad earlier this week.