The Bears on Saturday bolstered an injury-depleted position by agreeing to terms on a one-year contract with former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Jay Ratliff, a four-time Pro Bowler.
|Defensive tackle Jay Ratliff tackles Arizona Cardinals running back Beanie Wells. |
After starting all 16 games for four straight seasons from 2008-11, Ratliff was slowed by injuries last year and has not played since last Nov. 18. The 6-4, 293-pounder underwent surgery in December reportedly to repair torn tendons in his groin and abdomen. He then injured his hamstring during a conditioning test at the start of training camp.
Ratliff opened this season on the Cowboys' physically unable to perform list and was released Oct. 16. The 32-year-old was selected by Dallas in the seventh round of the 2005 draft out of Auburn, and recorded 27 sacks while appearing in 104 games with 85 starts over eight seasons.
While the Bears have not yet revealed when they expect him to return to action, Ratliff could eventually fill a major need at defensive tackle. Henry Melton
and Nate Collins
are out for the season with torn ACLs and Stephen Paea
missed two games with a toe injury.
The Bears tried to overcome those losses by moving Corey Wootton
inside from end, signing free-agent Landon Cohen
and adding undrafted rookie Zach Minter
to the rotation. But the line has struggled rushing the passer this season, producing only four of the Bears' NFL-low nine sacks.