On Sunday, the Chicago Bears announced the signing of OG/C Rob Turner to a one year contract. The signing came just one day after OG/C Brian de la Puente suffered a grade two MCL sprain in the preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. While de la Puente should be back with the team after just a few weeks, the Bears showed that they are determined to not fall victim to a lack of depth for the second straight year.
In 2013 the Bears defensive line was decimated by injuries, leaving an undermanned and unprepared front. With a number of minor injuries starting to add up along the offensive line early on in 2014, the Bears showed more proactive thinking by bringing in Turner. Starting right tackle Jordan Mills is still in a walking boot for precautionary measures, OG/C Eben Britton is rehabbing a hamstring injury and now de la Puente will be dealing with a knee injury. While Turner doesn’t figure to compete for a starting spot, he is a six year NFL veteran with 24 starts under his belt, including starting all 16 games for the St. Louis Rams in 2012.
For the first time in many years, the Bears are returning an entire starting offensive line from the previous year. This continuity will be huge heading into the regular season, and having quality veteran depth that can come off the bench and fill in seamlessly is a must in the NFL.
This move by the Bears shows that they learned from their past mistakes and are committed to providing this team with enough assets to truly compete for a championship. There isn’t much they can do once the season gets under way when injuries begin to pile up, and the Bears are making the right moves now to help mitigate those situations that can present themselves later in the season.