Danny Trevathan’s 2019 season is over.
Earlier today, the Chicago Bears announced Trevathan has been placed on injured reserve (alongside some corresponding moves that deserve a bit of a deeper dive). Here’s the series of transactions that have transpired:
#Bears roster moves:
We have placed LB Danny Trevathan on IR and have promoted DB Michael Joseph from the practice squad to the active roster. We also have signed WR Alex Wesley to the practice squad.
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) December 18, 2019
Trevathan’s move to IR is, of course, the most noteworthy.
The Bears have played the last five games without Trevathan after he suffered an elbow injury in a win against the Lions in Week 10. And while there was hope that Trevathan could return before the end of the season, the Bears being eliminated from postseason contention put an end to that dream. Trevathan – who was on pace for a 124-tackle season – finishes the 2019 campaign with 70 tackles, two tackles-for-loss, four quarterback hits, one sack, and a forced fumble.
Trevathan is a free agent after this season, and I’m not sure if he is in the team’s future plans. He will play in his age 30 season in 2020, but it is worth pointing out that he has played in a full 16-game season just once (in 2018). If Trevathan doesn’t return, he will be remembered fondly. Because while the numbers are what they are (and they were pretty good), it was his presence as stabilizing force in the middle of Chicago’s defense that will be remembered most. Trevathan brought a presence as an inside linebacker that was sorely lacking before his arrival. In addition, Trevathan brought a winning attitude and a willingness to be a leader for those around him. Just because that stuff doesn’t show up on a stat sheet doesn’t mean it’s without value.
With that being said, Trevathan’s shift to IR means that others will get opportunities to catch some eyeballs.
For starters, cornerback Michael Joseph has been promoted from the practice squad and will take Trevathan’s spot on the roster. Joseph was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2018 and has been on the practice squad since the start of last season. Joseph played his college ball at Division III Dubuque and was a top-tier cornerback at that level of college football. He joins a secondary that has been dinged up lately with Sherrick McManis on injured reserve and Prince Amukamara taking fewer snaps against the Packers last week as he was recovering from a problematic hamstring.
Taking Joseph’s spot on the practice squad is wide receiver Alex Wesley. The Northern Colorado product is a speedster who was a three-time Big Sky Conference outdoor 400-meter dash winner who ran 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Wesley was a four-year starter who was Northern Colorado’s top receiver as a junior and senior. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein had him projected to be a fifth-round pick, and someone who had special teams potential. Wesley probably isn’t cracking the Bears’ receiving corps any time soon, but could start making his climb up the depth chart by showing up on special teams plays.