With Willie Young out for the rest of the season with an Achilles tendon injury that requires surgery, and that will take him out of meaningful offseason activity for an estimated six to nine months, the Chicago Bears today made a move to shore up the depleted defensive line, signing fifth-year defensive end Austen Lane.
If his name sounds familiar, that's because it is. The 6'6", 265lb Wisconsin native, a fifth round draft pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012, was reunited with former Jaguars defensive coordinator Mel Tucker on the Bears this offseason, but didn't make it past final cuts in the preseason despite putting together what some observers thought was a strong showing. According to Tribune Bears beat reporter Brad Biggs:
Basically, #Bears kept Trevor Scott over Austen Lane at final cuts because they believed Scott had more special teams experience & value.— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) December 23, 2014
Just imagine how badly special teams might have fared without Scott's presence.
This move does at least bring the number of healthy DEs on the roster up to
four five, with the others being Jared Allen, David Bass, and Cornelius Washington and the aforementioned Trevor Scott.
Simply filling a hole on the roster for a meaningless game, or a potential piece of the puzzle that will be the defense in 2015? Did you like what you saw out of Lane in the preseason compared to how the DEs they kept in his stead have contributed?