While it may not have been the news of the day, nor did the Bears themselves officially acknowledge it, they have elevated Mario Edwards to the 53-man roster. After serving a two-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, the 27-year-old edge rusher makes his way back into Chicago’s defensive line rotation.
Edwards’ return could not come at a better time. The Bears’ defense is coming off a game against the Bengals where they had nine quarterback hits, six tackles-for-loss, and four sacks without his services. Adding the seventh-year veteran into the mix after a career-best 2020 season can only make Chicago’s defense more potent. The Bears evidently agree. They wouldn’t have given him a three-year, $11 million contract, with half guaranteed this past off-season, if they didn’t expect him to be an excellent complementary No. 3 edge rusher to Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn.
There was previously a rub with Edwards’ comeback. Chicago was going to have to make a corresponding roster move, as they were granted an exemption by the league to keep Edwards on their roster while he served his suspension. But with Larry Borom being placed on injured reserve last week, that is no longer necessary.
One of the deeper defensive lines in pro football just got stronger. Quarterbacks everywhere, general backfield participants, turnstile-slash-tollbooth offensive tackles: I do not envy you in the least.