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Bears Bulletin

Bears rule Smith, Mooney out of wild card game


The Bears on Saturday downgraded inside linebacker Roquan Smith (elbow) and receiver Darnell Mooney (ankle) from questionable to out of Sunday's Wild Card game against the Saints in New Orleans.

Smith and Mooney both were injured in last Sunday's regular-season finale versus the Packers and missed practice all week.

Smith was selected AP second-team All-Pro after ranking second in the NFL in both solo tackles (96) and tackles-for-loss (18) and seventh in tackles with a career-high and team-leading 139.

Mooney, a rookie fifth-round pick from Tulane, finished second on the Bears in receiving with 61 catches for 631 yards and four touchdowns. His 61 receptions were the most by a rookie wide receiver in Bears history.

Bears activate two players

The Bears on Saturday also flexed linebacker Manti Te'o and safety Marqui Christian from the practice squad to the active roster in advance of Sunday's playoff game in New Orleans.

Te'o was signed to the Bears practice squad Oct. 20. He has appeared in 62 games with 48 starts over seven NFL seasons with the Chargers (2013-16) and Saints (2017-19), recording 307 tackles, 22 tackles-for-loss, 13 pass breakups, two interceptions, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

The Hawaii native was selected by the Chargers in the second round of the 2013 draft out of Notre Dame, where, in 2012, he won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation's best college defensive player and the Butkus Award as the best college linebacker in the country.

Christian signed with the Bears Aug. 12. Suspended by the NFL for the first two games of the season, he returned to the team Sept. 21, joining the practice squad.

Christian played in 55 games the past four seasons with the Rams, registering 83 tackles and three pass breakups, including 36 tackles in 2018 and again in 2019. He was selected by the Cardinals in the fifth round of the 2016 draft out of Midwestern State. He was waived by the Cardinals Sept. 27, 2016 and claimed by the Rams the next day.

Due to a provision in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that was reached in March, NFL teams can flex up to two players from their practice squad without releasing anyone, effectively increasing their active roster from 53 to 55.

The Saints, meanwhile, on Saturday activated running back Alvin Kamara off the reserve/COVID-19 list; activated receiver Michael Thomas, receiver/return specialist Deonte Harris and cornerback Patrick Robinson; elevated linebacker Chase Hansen and receiver Lil'Jordan Humphrey from the practice squad to the active roster; waived receiver Eric Kumerow; and placed guard/center Nick Easton on injured reserve.

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