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Bears place Bennett on injured reserve

Bears tight end Martellus Bennett will miss the final four games of the season after being placed on injured reserve Tuesday due to a rib injury.


Bears tight end Martellus Bennett will miss the final four games of the season.

The eight-year veteran originally hurt his ribs Nov. 22 in a loss to the Broncos and sat out the Bears' Thanksgiving night win over the Packers. He then aggravated the injury in Sunday's defeat to the 49ers, though he returned and finished the game.

Bennett leads the Bears with 53 catches for 439 yards and three touchdowns. Since he joined the team as a free agent in 2013, he ranks third among NFL tight ends with 208 receptions, is tied for fifth with 2,114 receiving yards and is tied for eighth with 14 TD receptions.

The Bears replaced Bennett on the roster by signing tight end Rob Housler. The 6-5, 258-pounder has appeared in 61 games with 28 starts over five NFL seasons with the Cardinals (2011-14) and Browns (2015), catching 106 passes for 1,139 yards and one touchdown.

Housler entered the NFL in 2011 with the Cardinals as a third-round draft pick from Florida Atlantic. He had 45 receptions for 417 yards in 2012 and 39 receptions for 454 yards and one TD in 2013 with Arizona.

Housler played in the first six games this season for the Browns before being placed on injured reserve Nov. 4 with a hamstring injury. He was later waived by Cleveland Nov. 17.

The Bears on Tuesday also made a practice-squad move, signing quarterback Matt Blanchard and terminating the contract of quarterback Justin Worley.

Blanchard entered the NFL with the Bears in 2012 as an undrafted free agent from Wisconsin-Whitewater. He spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad and remained with the team through the 2013 preseason. Blanchard returns to the Bears after stints with the Panthers, Packers, Browns and Colts.

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