The Chicago Bears are re-organizing their roster on Thanksgiving morning, with the biggest news being their placement of Leonard Floyd on injured reserve.
This news isn’t unexpected after Head Coach John Fox revealed his top outside linebacker/edge rusher suffered injuries to his MCL and PCL. Things could have been worse for Floyd, who avoided a more significant knee injury when tests showed he didn’t suffer a torn ACL when cornerback Kyle Fuller collided with him in Sunday’s loss against the Detroit Lions.
Floyd finishes the season with 5.5 sacks in 10 games. The second-year growing sack artist from the University of Georgia picked up his play starting in Week 4 against the Green Bay Packers when he ended his sack-less slump by bringing down Aaron Rodgers. Chicago’s defensive coaches saw Floyd take a step in his development in Year 2, awarding him with an increase in playing time. One year after playing on just 49 percent of the team’s defensive snaps as a rookie, Floyd was in on more than 90 percent of the team’s defensive plays in 2017.
Replacing Floyd on the active roster is defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid Howard Jones. The Bears signed Jones to the practice squad in October when their own outside linebacker/defensive end hybrid Willie Young was sent to IR because of a triceps injury. Placing Floyd on IR allowed for the Bears to move Jones up from the practice squad.
And with Jones leaving for the active roster, it allowed the team to announce the signing of wide receiver DeMarcus Ayers to take his place on the practice squad. Ayers has two NFL games under his belt from his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, including a start.
The University of Houston product is now one of four wideouts on the 10-man practice squad. Ayers joins Tanner Gentry, Mario Alford, and Nelson Spruce on a practice squad that is 40 percent Wire receiver.