Things are getting a bit worrisome at Chicago Bears training camp. For those reading social media posts about the offensive line and fans being anxious, they are all accurate.
The Bears are enduring a string of tough news recently, and continue to see their offensive linemen drop like flies.
Right now, they are without their top two offensive tackles in rookie second-round pick Teven Jenkins and veteran Germain Ifedi. Jenkins has not practiced yet in camp due to a back injury, while Ifedi is out with a hip issue.
This last week, their tackles shriveled up even more when second-year pro Lachavious Simmons left practice with a possible concussion. There was some positive news to be had, though, because rookie fifth-round pick Larry Borom was filling in nicely and looked extremely promising. Then, Borom also left with a possible concussion.
The Chicago Bears have injury woes regarding their top four offensive tackles, and have to find help immediately.
With concerns to their top four tackles now, the Bears have to look at free agents to bring in. They have no choice, even if it’s to provide extra camp bodies until the unit gets healthy.
There are still a few free agent tackles worth bringing in — even some who may earn a starting job on the right side.
Veteran Russell Okung is still available, and when healthy, is still one of the better tackles in all of football. Last year, Okung spent his lone season with the Carolina Panthers and played in just seven games. However, he was stellar in those seven games.
The 2-time Pro Bowl tackle played three seasons for the Los Angeles Chargers prior to Carolina. Okung is 32 years old, but still has some football left in him. At this point, signing him to a minimal deal would be a wise call.
Another name whom the Bears should be familiar with is Rick Wagner, formerly of the Green Bay Packers (one season) and Detroit Lions (three seasons). Wagner began his career with the Baltimore Ravens, but the Bears have seen him each of the past four years while playing in the NFC North.
Marshall Newhouse is another veteran currently available, who has played on eight different teams over the past decade. Newhouse started his career with Green Bay, which Bears fans probably remember.
Regardless of whom the Bears sign, just getting another body or two in camp right now should be priority. They have to get enough guys on the roster to suit up against the Miami Dolphins in their first preseason game next Saturday.
The biggest aspect of their current offensive line woes, which should be at the forefront of coach Matt Nagy’s mind, is that there is no way they roll rookie Justin Fields out there until their offensive line is as healthy as possible. Look for Fields’ reps to be limited against the Dolphins if they can’t put together a sufficient line in front of him Saturday afternoon.