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Chicago Bears place D.J. Williams on IR, sign former Pro Bowl special teamer Montell Owens

D.J. Williams' season, and very likely his time as a Bear, is over after being placed on IR with a neck injury.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears' battered defense took another - involuntary - step towards a youth movement today with the news that middle linebacker D.J. Williams has been placed on injured reserve with a neck injury.

As Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune points out, he joins Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs as one of three of the five opening-day starters aged 32 or older to have landed on IR this season.  All three are free agents at the end of the season, and it would be a surprise to see any of them back in 2015.

The move opens up an opportunity for the Bears to see what they have in what might be a linebacking corps of the future in Shea McClellin, Jon Bostic and Christian Jones.  Khaseem Greene might even add to his eight appearances so far this season.

In a corresponding move, the Bears shored up their special teams unit by signing former Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions fullback Montell Owens, who made the Pro Bowl in 2010 and 2011 while a member of the former.

What do you make of the signing and of the increased opportunities for the young linebackers?