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Bears add seven players to practice squad

Posted Sep 1, 2013

The Bears on Sunday signed seven players to their practice squad, including five who had recently had been waived by the team after participating in training camp.

The Bears on Sunday signed seven players to their practice squad, including five who had recently been waived by the team after participating in training camp.

The returnees include linebacker Jerry Franklin, cornerback Demontre Hurst, tight end Fendi Onobun, running back Harvey Unga and defensive end Aston Whiteside. Also signed to the practice squad were quarterback Jerrod Johnson and receiver Ricardo Lockette.

Fendi Onobun
Franklin was claimed by the Bears off the Cowboys' practice squad late last season and appeared in the final three games, recording two special teams tackles. The 6-1, 245-pounder showed promise in training camp and the preseason, especially on special teams.

Hurst joined the Bears this year as an undrafted free agent from Oklahoma. He showed his playmaking ability in the preseason finale against the Browns, intercepting a Brian Hoyer pass and drawing an intentional grounding penalty with a well-timed blitz.

Onobun performed well at times in training camp but struggled in the preseason, dropping three passes without recording a reception in the first three games. He caught four passes for 45 yards in the finale against the Browns. But one pass that deflected off his hands was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. He also had another drop and committed two holding penalties.

Onobun followed an unusual path to the NFL. He played basketball for four years at Arizona before using a final year of college eligibility to play football at the University of Houston in 2009.
 
Onobun was selected in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Rams and appeared in three games as a rookie with St. Louis, catching two passes for 15 yards. He had brief stints with the Seahawks, Redskins, Jaguars and Bills before joining the Bears after the 2012 season.

Unga was selected by the Bears in the 2010 supplemental draft. He enters his fourth season, but has not appeared in a regular-season game. The 6-foot, 237-pounder was on injured reserve in 2010, on the reserve/left team list in 2011 and on the practice squad for most of the 2012 season.

Whiteside also spent most of last season on the Bears' practice squad. The 6-2, 255-pounder from Abilene Christian joined the team last summer after being released by the Cowboys.

Johnson entered the NFL with the Eagles in 2011 as an undrafted free agent from Texas A&M. He has also spent time with the Steelers and Seahawks, but has not appeared in a regular-season game. The 6-5, 250-pounder left Texas A&M as the school's all-time leading passer with 8,011 yards.

Lockette appeared in two games with the Seahawks in 2011, catching two passes for 105 yards including a 61-yard touchdown. The 6-2, 211-pounder spent part of last season with the 49ers, but did not appear in a game. He was released by San Francisco on Aug. 22.

The Bears still have one spot open on their eight-man practice squad.

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