Bears rule out leading tackler Roquan Smith, call up Manti Te’o from practice squad

John Sigler
·1 min read

The Chicago Bears filed a couple of roster moves before traveling for their Wild-Card Round playoff game against the New Orleans Saints, with serious implications for their defense.

Linebacker Roquan Smith was a non-participant in practice throughout the week due to an elbow injury; after initially designating him as questionable to play on Sunday, the Bears ruled him out altogether.

In his place is a name familiar to New Orleans: linebacker Manti Te’o, who signed with the Chicago practice squad back in October. Te’o last played for the Saints from 2017 to 2019, appearing in 28 games. So he should be as prepared as anyone could be to help defend the Saints offense.

Additionally, the Bears will be without wide receiver Darnell Mooney due to an ankle injury that kept him out of practice this week. He was also ruled out after further evaluations. That’s a big loss for their receiving corps, with Mooney ranking second-best in catches (61) and receiving yards (631) behind Allen Robinson.

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