After a handful of splashy signings to open free agency, the Chicago Bears are turning their attention to building up roster depth.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets the team has re-signed linebacker John Timu, one week after not tendering him a contract as a restricted free agent.
Timu has appeared in 29 games with nine starts in his three-year NFL career. The University of Washington product joined the Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2015, a year in which he started three of the seven games he appeared in after his call-up from the practice squad.
Timu has played in exactly 11 games in each of the last two seasons as a reserve inside linebacker, and he was one of a handful of inside linebackers deployed by the defense in 2017, because of injuries throughout the position – he even started two games after being elevated from the practice squad in September. Unfortunately, Timu was also sidelined with a high ankle sprain suffered in the team’s loss to the Vikings on Monday Night Football in Week 5.
Timu will likely find himself in the familiar role of fill-in linebacker and special teams contributor this season. He played on 46.1 percent of the team’s special teams snaps last year, and only five other players saw more time there (and one of them, Christian Jones, has left the Bears for the Detroit Lions in free agency).
The Bears could stand to pile on depth at the linebacker position after losing Jones to the Lions. Timu just might fit the bill here as he’ll join Danny Trevathan and Nick Kwiatkoski in the mix among inside linebackers.