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Chicago Bears claim fullback Michael Burton

Arizona Cardinals v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears have claimed Michael Burton off waivers from the Detroit Lions. Burton, a 6’, 247 pound fullback, was a fifth round pick of the Lions in the 2015 draft from Rutgers, where he had 47 receptions for 401 yards, and 22 rushes for 116 yards. He began his collegiate career as a walk-on, and left as a co-captain.

To make room for Burton, the Bears have released tight end Franco House, the power forward from Ball State.

The Lions are phasing the fullback position out of their offense, so after a promising rookie season where he played in 22.3% of their offensive snaps, his playing time decreased to 9.2% in 2016. He played in all 16 games, making 7 starts in 2015, but last year he didn’t start once in 15 games. He didn’t have any touches last year, but had 10 in 2015.

The Bears do have one other fullback on the roster, undrafted free agent Freddie Stevenson from Florida State. With two fullbacks battling it out this offseason, that could mean the Bears plan to actually utilize the position in Dowell Loggains’ offense.