The Bears on Wednesday signed defensive lineman Taco Charlton off the Saints practice squad, activated linebacker Matt Adams from injured reserve and waived veteran linebacker A.J. Klein.
Charlton has appeared in 55 NFL games with 13 starts in five seasons with the Cowboys (2017-19), Dolphins (2019), Chiefs (2020) and Steelers (2021), recording 92 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 12 tackles-for-loss and four forced fumbles.
Charlton was selected by Dallas with the 28th pick in the first round of the 2017 draft out of Michigan. He played in all 16 games as a rookie, all as a reserve, registering 19 tackles, 3.0 sacks and three tackles-for-loss.
Charlton was waived by the Cowboys two weeks into the 2019 season and claimed by the Dolphins. In his one year in Miami, he appeared in 10 games with five starts and compiled 21 tackles, a career-high 5.0 sacks and three tackles-for-loss.
The 6-6, 270-pounder signed with the Chiefs in 2020, and played in seven contests, all as a reserve, amassing seven tackles, 2.0 sacks and one tackle-for-loss. Charlton was released Aug. 23, 2021, and was signed to the Steelers practice squad. He was eventually promoted to Pittsburgh's active roster and appeared in 11 games with one start, recording 18 tackles and 0.5 sacks.
Charlton signed with the Saints in April and spent the first 10 weeks of the season on their practice squad.
Bears coach Matt Eberflus was Cowboys linebackers coach during Charlton's rookie season in Dallas, while general manager Ryan Poles was Chiefs assistant director of player personnel when Charlton played for Kansas City.
"We know the man," Eberflus said. "Good production up to a certain point. So we're excited to have him. We're excited to see where it can go. He's going to be in there for depth for us, a rotational player inside and we'll see where it goes from there."
Adams has been sidelined since exiting a Week 5 loss to the Vikings with a calf injury. He returned to practice last Wednesday, beginning a 21-day window to activate him off injured reserve.
The five-year veteran appeared in three of the Bears' first four games, all as a reserve, playing primarily on special teams. He has recorded six tackles on defense and one on special teams.
Adams signed with the Bears in April after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Colts, contributing mostly on special teams. During that time, Eberflus was Indianapolis' defensive coordinator.
Klein was acquired by the Bears Nov. 1 along with 2023 second- and fifth-round picks from the Ravens in exchange for linebacker Roquan Smith. Klein appeared in the Bears' last two games, playing nine snaps on special teams and none on defense.