The Chicago Bears are adding depth to their secondary.
News from ESPN’s Turron Davenport:
Per source, DB Marqui Christian signed w/ the #Bears. Christian could challenge to start at safety. Very versatile player that saw time at nickel and safety for the Rams. Christian is also a standout special teams player.
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) August 11, 2020
Davenport reports the Bears are signing defensive back Marqui Christian. The news comes shortly after Christian reportedly visited the team over the weekend. Chicago’s roster currently sits at 80 players. Someone on the active roster needs to be moved off to avoid splitting the team into multiple practice groups. The NFL’s rules currently allow no more than 80 players in team facilities at a given time.
Now that we’ve got the fine print out of the way, let’s talk about Christian.
When he officially arrives, Christian figures to settle in among Chicago’s reserve safeties. Even then, he won’t immediately step onto the field with the Bears. ESPN’s Field Yates reported Christian was suspended for the first two weeks of the regular season back in June, but a reason was not specified.
As for the player,Davenport notes Christian has experience as a nickel defender and as a safety. Perhaps Chicago’s defensive coaches can carve out a hybrid role for the new guy. But at minimum, Christian figures to fill the void left by safety Jordan Lucas opting out. And perhaps he could take some snaps at cornerback where Tre Roberson figured to get some action, too.
Christian was a fifth-round pick (167th overall) by the Cardinals in the 2016 NFL Draft, but never played a down for Arizona. The 25-yard-old defensive back has 55 games of experience with the Los Angeles Rams. He has just one start under his belt in his four years as a pro, but has ample special teams experience. Christian has played on at least two-thirds of the Rams’ special teams snaps since the start of the 2017 season. And in 2019, he played on 80.98 percent of those snaps. He also played a career-high 371 defensive plays last year, too. So it’s not as if Christian is some one-trick magician.
In any case, it’s always good to add depth to the defense and to a special teams room that could always use some helpful hands.