Week 6 of the NFL season is underway for the Chicago Bears, who have completed a transaction to kick things off:
#Bears Roster Update:
We have signed OL Bryan Witzmann to the 53-man roster and have placed LB Sam Acho on IR.
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) October 8, 2018
The Bears placed outside linebacker Sam Acho on injured reserve and signed offensive lineman Bryan Witzmann as a corresponding move. Acho suffered a season-ending pectoral injury in Week 4, but the Bears didn’t need to rush to make a roster move because of the bye week. And rather than seek an external replacement for Acho, the Bears sought to bulk up their offensive line.
Witzmann, 28, started 13 of 16 games for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017 – meaning he has familiarity with Matt Nagy’s scheme. However, we should point out his 40.6 grade from Pro Football Focus was the worst among the five starters who opened camp with Kansas City. Witzmann was in a position battle to retain his starting gig with the Chiefs, but was cut at the end of training camp. He was later picked up by the Vikings and added to their 53-man roster, but was cut on Friday to make room for Kentrell Brothers on the active roster.
By signing Witzmann, the Bears have essentially decided against signing Acho’s replacement and instead will go with either Isaiah Irving or Kylie Fitts as a replacement on the active roster. Irving will probably get the nod over Fitts, due to his experience as a reserve outside linebacker and a special teamer – roles that Acho filled and Fitts probably isn’t as familiar with at this stage of his career.
Don’t expect Witzmann to jump into the offensive line rotation right away. Not with Eric Kush and James Daniels jockeying for starting position. Instead, Witzmann will likely slide into a reserve role and might not even be active on the active 46-man game day roster.