Bears offensive lineman Eric Kush suffered a torn hamstring and will undergo season-ending surgery, head coach John Fox announced today. Chicago has officially placed Kush on injured reserve and signed offensive lineman Brandon Greene.
Kush, 27, wasn’t going to crack an excellent Bears interior offensive line that includes Kyle Long, Cody Whitehair, and Josh Sitton, but he was set to serve as Chicago’s top reserve on the inside. In 2016, Kush appeared in eight games (four starts), playing on roughly a quarter of the club’s offensive snaps while earning solid pass-blocking grades from Pro Football Focus. He re-signed with the Bears over the offseason, agreeing to a two-year, $2.7MM deal that included $1.35MM in guarantees.
With Kush sidelined, Chicago is deploying Whitehair as a backup guard while inserting Hroniss Grasu as the starting center, tweets Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. While that’s a temporary alignment while Long recovers from injury, it’s probably how the Bears would line up if another injury strikes along the interior. Other Chicago linemen with guard experience include Tom Compton, Cyril Richardson, and Taylor Boggs.
Greene is a rookie undrafted free agent out of Alabama who spent his collegiate time playing both offense and defense. Although he’s played offensive line in the past, Greene was a tight end only in 2016.
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