Nate Chandler signed with the Bears in early June despite seeing a severe knee injury wipe out much of his past two seasons. But the tackle won’t be suiting up for the Bears this season, as it turns out, after the team placed him on the reserve/retired list, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).
The 27-year-old blocker spent less than two months with the Bears despite generating interest from multiple other NFC teams this offseason. He now becomes the second Chicago offensive lineman to retire just months after being signed by the team this offseason. Manny Ramirez did the same earlier this year after signing in March to potentially compete for a starting interior-line job.
Chandler wasn’t going to win a starting position, being a clear depth signing to ideally function behind Charles Leno and Bobby Massie if he ultimately proved sufficiently recovered from the torn meniscus injury that derailed his career. But the former Panthers lineman also visited the Lions before deciding to sign with the Bears. He worked out for the Buccaneers in April.
Chicago looks to have been preparing for this transaction after signing free agent Amini Silatolu earlier this week. Chandler’s former teammate with Carolina, Silatolu could now step into one of the backup roles that are now less clear after the retirements of Ramirez and Chandler, with Roster Resource pointing out the team’s lack of pure tackle depth behind Leno and Massie. However, Silatolu is coming off knee trouble as well after suffering torn ACLs in both the 2013 and ’15 seasons.
The Panthers cut Chandler before the start of the new league year, doing so after moving the former UDFA defensive tackle to the other side of the ball and making him a starter at both tackle and guard from 2013-14. If this retirement sticks, the knee injury Chandler suffered in Carolina’s 11th game of the 2014 season will end up being his final NFL action.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.