What Jeremiah Attaochu’s season-ending injury means for Bears defense

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The Chicago Bears have lost a valuable reserve at edge rusher after Jeremiah Attaochu suffered a torn pectoral muscle in Sunday’s win and is out for the season.

Attaochu was the primarily reserve at outside linebacker behind Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn, who have combined for 9.5 sacks through the first five weeks of the season. While Attaochu didn’t have any sacks, he was playing well before his injury.

With Attaochu out for the year, what does that mean for the Bears defense?

While you don’t want to lose players to injury, the bright spot appears to be that second-year pro Trevis Gipson will get plenty more reps in relief of Mack and Quinn. Gipson has recorded a sack in back-to-back games, and he’s on track to take a big step in his development after being drafted as a projected in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL draft.

“Whatever opportunities are given to me, I’m going to try to make the most of them,” Gipson said Sunday when asked about Attaochu exiting the game.

With Attaochu landing on injured reserve, the Bears have promoted undrafted rookie Sam Kamara to the 53-man roster, where he’ll serve Gipson’s former role. Kamara, a converted defensive tackle, was one of the standouts during the preseason for the Bears, but they just had too much depth and not enough roster spots at the position.

The Bears pass rush currently ranks first in the NFL with 18 sacks with 11.5 of those coming from outside linebackers Mack, Quinn and Gipson. While the loss of Attaochu isn’t ideal, they’re equipped to handle it until Attaochu returns next season.