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|JOHN "MOON" MULLIN|
Bell replaces Matt Forte understudy Michael Bush, who was placed on injured reserve with a rib injury suffered in the Seattle game, then limited him to one carry in Minnesota and to the sidelines against Green Bay.
Bush, as strong a short-yardage back as the Bears have had in recent seasons, becomes the latest Emery roster addition forced into some unexpected down time.
Emery attempted to upgrade the offensive line last offseason. He signed former 49ers second-round pick Chilo Rachal, who won a starting job but melted down after losing the job with a debacle against the San Francisco 49ers.
That was a week before the team’s best offensive lineman, guard Lance Louis, was lost for the season with a knee injury.
Emery signed Jonathan Scott, who replaced Gabe Carimi at right tackle but suffered a hamstring injury against Green Bay and is a question this week.
No. 1 draft choice Shea McClellin has been down with a concussion and knee injury. No. 2 pick Alshon Jeffery missed four games with a broken hand and then two with a knee injury. No. 3 Brandon Hardin went on injured reserve with a neck injury in the second preseason game. No. 4 pick Evan Rodriguez has come back respectably from a knee injury that had him out for four games.
Bush was a marquee signing early last offseason, giving the Bears a safety net in negotiations with Forte and a proven big back and former starter with the Oakland Raiders.
Bush appeared in the first 13 games this season and started in the win over St. Louis when Forte was out with an ankle injury. He averaged 3.6 yards per carry and was second to Brandon Marshall (10) with five touchdowns.
Bell was with the Bears through the offseason after signing a tender offer for $1.26 million. After the Bush signing in March for four years and $14 million, and Forte signed a four-year deal at the outset of training camp, Bell’s price as a No. 3 back was out of line with his slot.
When he refused to take a pay cut, the Bears waived him on Aug. 23. He returned Sept. 15 and was waived a month later. He eventually signed with the New York Jets, who released him last week.
Bell started three games for the Bears last season after Forte’s season-ending knee injury. He totaled 337 yards on 79 carries, with a peak of 121 yards against the Green Bay Packers.Tags: Michael Bush, new york jets, Matt Forte, Chicago Bears, Kahlil Bell