Alex Leatherwood is Taking His First Steps Toward Returning to the Bears' Active Roster

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Alex Leatherwood is Taking His First Steps Toward Returning to the Bears’ Active Roster

Chicago Bears

An offensive line that still has questions regarding which five are the best for the starting lineup could soon get another option thrown into the fray.

Alex Leatherwood is taking his first steps toward returning to the Chicago Bears’ active roster:

In a bit of encouraging news, the Bears announced Leatherwood is practicing in some capacity today. Leatherwood’s participation opens a 21-day window in which the Bears can remove him from the reserve/non-football illness list. The 23-year-old has been on the NFI list since mid-September. It was a setback for the Alabama product who was acquired as a waiver wire claim after the final preseason roster cuts. It led the Bears to re-signing Michael Schofield, who has settled in among the reserve linemen. But with all due respect to the vet, Leatherwood’s future is more intriguing.

Leatherwood was one of college football’s best linemen while at Alabama. During his time with the Crimson Tide, Leatherwood picked up unanimous All-American honors, an Outland Trophy, and two first-team All-SEC nods. It’s an impressive résumé to be sure, but one that hasn’t translated to NFL success. Yet. The Raiders cut ties with Leatherwood after just one year with the team, allowing the Bears to take a swing at a post-hype sleeper at a premium position of need. It is the kind of low-risk, high-reward move first-year GM Ryan Poles *SHOULD* be taking. And we hope it works out as well as the last couple of times the Bears have acquired former Raiders.

But don’t get it twisted. The Bears don’t need to rush him into the lineup. However, the team has an open roster spot with linebacker Matt Adams going on IR earlier in the week. So it is possible we’re seeing Leatherwood on the 53-player active roster sooner and not later.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.