Bears Waive 13, Make Trade, Place Two on IR
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) _ The Chicago Bears waived 13 players Monday and traded second-year defensive end Pat Riley to the Atlanta Falcons.
Among those waived was veteran linebacker Myron Baker, who led the team in special teams tackles last season.
Chicago also placed defensive back Dwayne Joseph (neck) and defensive tackle Chris Zorich (knee) on injured reserve, meaning they cannot play this season.
The moves trim the Bears roster to 63 and they must be down to 60 by Tuesday. The final 53-man squad will be determined Sunday, Aug. 25.
Defensive back Donnell Woolford underwent an MRI on his sore right hip Monday. He missed the final six games with the injury last season and has been sluggish in the preseason. Coach Dave Wannstedt said the MRI showed no damage.
Woolford struggled Saturday night in New Orleans and was replaced in the third quarter by James Burton on the first-team defense. Woolford had been beaten for two touchdown passes in the previous game against Miami.
He said the injury had prevented him from pushing off the way he wants.
``It’s inhibiting me as far as making plays,″ he said.
``He’s tired. When you are 30 years old and go through two-a-days you are going to be tired,″ Wannstedt said. ``He’s just sore.″
Woolford, fined more than $400,000 by the NFL for his second drunken driving arrest in two years, said he’s not distracted by the off-field incidents.
``If there was going to be a suspension, I should have heard by now. I have no control over that,″ he said.
Baker, a fourth-round draft choice in 1993 from Louisiana Tech, was cut along with third-year punter Kent Sullivan, second-year tight end Andre President, first-year running back Brandon Bennett and first-year wide receiver Fabien Bownes.
``Myron has been with us since we started four years ago,″ Wannstedt said. ``I said that guys who are in backup roles on this team have to be major contributors on special teams.″
Baker was a contributor but so were Greg Briggs, who played with the Cowboys last season, and rookie Michael Lowery. They are both linebackers and their play made Baker expendable.
``Briggs has shown us the last couple of weeks and Mike Lowery made some plays. It came down to that,″ Wannstedt said.
Also waived were wide receivers Don Blair and Shaston Coleman, fullback Ed Hobbs, safeties Jeff Horton and Clarence Sutton, linebacker Ahmani Johnson, guard Seth Littleton and tackle Derrick Turner, all undrafted free agents.
Riley, a second-round pick from Miami, Fla., appeared in one game last season. He was dealt to the Falcons for an undisclosed conditional draft pick.
The emergence of backup defensive end Carl Reeves prompted the trade, Wannstedt said.