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Roster Moves: Bears put Braxton Jones on IR

Bears offensive lineman Braxton Jones
Bears offensive lineman Braxton Jones

The Bears on Wednesday placed starting left tackle Braxton Jones on injured reserve with a neck injury he sustained in last Sunday's loss to the Buccaneers.

Since he was selected by the Bears in the fifth round of last year's draft out of Southern Utah, Jones has started all 19 games. Last season he was the only member of the team to play every snap on offense or defense.

Jones will miss a minimum of four games and will be eligible to return to action Sunday, Oct. 22 when the Bears host the Raiders. Asked if Jones could miss the entire season, coach Matt Eberflus said: "We'll see where it is. We don't have timetables on it right now. That's where it is right now."

Jones is the Bears' second starting offensive lineman on injured reserve, joining left guard Teven Jenkins, who has missed the first two games.

According to Eberflus, possible replacements for Jones include 2021 fifth-round pick Larry Borom and 2022 seventh-round selection Ja'Tyre Carter.

Last season Borom started the first seven games at right tackle before sustaining a concussion. The Missouri product returned later in the year in a reserve role before opening two of the final three contests—at right tackle in Week 16 against the Bills and right guard in Week 18 versus the Vikings.

Carter played three games, all as a reserve, as a rookie last season and made his first NFL start at right guard last Sunday against the Buccaneers.

"Larry Borom is in there," Eberflus said. "J.T. could take some spots out there. We really feel good about him, the way he played last week inside. Certainly athletic enough to help us out there too. We'll see where it goes."

Since being selected by the Bears in the first round of this year's draft, Darnell Wright has lined up exclusively at right tackle, starting the first two games of the season there. But as a Tennessee junior in 2021, Wright opened all 13 games at left tackle.

Asked about the possibility of Wright being moved to left tackle, Eberflus said: "There's certainly a thought there for sure. But when you're working with a first-year player, a lot of times you like to leave them in the same spot. But certainly that's been in conversation."

Carter started in Tampa in place of veteran Nate Davis, who missed the contest due to personal reasons. Davis has since rejoined the team.

"Good to see Nate Davis back," Eberflus said, "and certainly our hearts are saddened for him, but he's back in the building. He came back last night and he's all set to go to practice today. But, again, all of our sympathies with his family."

With Jones being placed on injured reserve, the Bears signed tackle Aviante Collins off their practice squad. Collins was flexed to the active roster last Sunday but did not play against the Buccaneers. He has appeared in seven NFL games with one start with the Vikings (2017-20) and Cowboys (2021-22). Collins entered the league with Minnesota as an undrafted free agent from TCU. He signed with the Bears July 26, was released as part of final cuts and then joined the practice squad.

The Bears on Wednesday also signed guard Austen Pleasants to the practice squad.

Other moves: The Bears on Wednesday also terminated the contract of veteran quarterback Nathan Peterman and signed guard Austen Pleasants to the practice squad. 

Peterman joined the Bears last season and appeared in three games with one start, completing 14 of 25 passes for 139 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

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