Bears rookie LB Jack Sanborn will see increased role on defense

The Bears traded star linebacker Roquan Smith to the Ravens, which leaves Chicago without a defensive leader and a starting weak-side linebacker.

Smith’s departure should open up opportunities for younger players, namely undrafted rookie Jack Sanborn, who was a preseason standout on defense and special teams.

Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams said Sanborn will see an increased workload at linebacker, and he’s in consideration for the vacant WILL role vacated by Smith.

“What’s there not to like about Sanborn?” Williams said, via Chris Emma. “He just needs a chance to get on the field and perform.”

Sanborn established himself as a fan favorite during the preseason, where he was all over the field on defense and special teams. His instincts and athleticism were impressive, which made him an easy choice for a roster spot. He’s played primarily on special teams this season, but he should take on a. bigger role on defense down the stretch.

“The way he practices, how we judge guys are how they perform in practice,” Williams said, via Sean Hammond. “He plays hard, he plays physical.”

While there’s no replacing Smith, his exit opens up opportunities for players like Sanborn, who will have no shortage of opportunities heading into the final stretch of the 2022 season.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire