When a player comes off the practice squad and performs admirably, it would be ideal to reward them with a spot on the active roster.
And that appears to be happening with Joe Thomas. The 31-year-old linebacker made the most of his elevation from the practice squad ahead of last week’s Bears win against the Texans and is now on the 53-player roster. Unfortunately, it comes at the expense of having to send another player to injured reserve.
The team announced wide receiver Byron Pringle is going on IR as a corresponding move to Thomas’ signing to the active roster. Pringle’s calf injury caused him to leave Chicago’s Week 3 win against Houston early with the injury. And even though he was originally declared doubtful to return, he never re-entered the ball game. Moving Pringle to IR means he’ll miss the team’s next four games. The earliest he can return is on Oct. 30 against the Cowboys in Week 8. That’s a bummer for a Bears offense still searching for answers in the passing game. And it is a double whammy when you consider Pringle signed with the Bears on what is essentially a one-year “prove it” deal. No matter from what angle you look at it from, it’s bad new for the Bears.
Pringle’s IR stint leaves Chicago with five healthy receivers on its active roster. Darnell Mooney is joined by Dante Pettis, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, and Equanimeous St. Brown. The team could tap into the practice squad by recalling Isaiah Coulter or Nsimba Webster. But considering how much they’re running the ball, current trends suggest adding a pass-catcher isn’t an immediate priority. Then again, there was a report hinting at the Bears preparing to poke around the trade market for receiver help. Perhaps the Pringle injury accelerates that action. We’ll see…