Bears host former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jay Ratliff for visit

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 10/31/2013, 11:21am

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The Bears continue to do their due diligence when it comes to available players, but this time a four-time Pro Bowler was looked at.

A league source confirmed that the Bears hosted defensive tackle Jay Ratliff for a visit a Halas Hall. Ratliff, a Pro Bowler from 2008-2011, was recently released by the Dallas Cowboys.

Ratliff underwent surgery last December for a sports hernia and hasn’t played in nearly a year. He also was released by the Cowboys after they signed him to a five-year extension worth $40 million ($18 million guaranteed) on Sept. 9, 2011.

Because of his recovery, Ratliff did not work out for the Bears. It was primarily a visit, where the Bears’ medical staff had a chance to examine him.

Ratliff has indicated to teams that he wants to return this season and is visiting teams he’s interested in joining. He’s also met with the Kansas City Chiefs and more visits are expected.

Injuries, of course, have severely impacted the Bears’ defensive line. Defensive tackle Henry Melton and Nate Collins are out with season-ending knee injuries, while Stephen Paea is dealing with a nagging turf toe.

The Bears have used defensive end Corey Wootton at tackle, while rotating in veteran Landon Cohen (who was cut by the Cowboys) and Zach Minter (an undrafted rookie).

Teams also have to take into account Ratliff’s off-the-field situation. He faces charges of driving while intoxicated after being arrested in January.