Bears put Zach Miller on IR, promote TE Ben Braunecker

SHARE Bears put Zach Miller on IR, promote TE Ben Braunecker
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Chicago Bears tight end Ben Braunecker works on the field during an NFL football training camp. (AP)

The Bears made the inevitable official Tuesday, putting tight end Zach Miller on injured reserve and ending his season.

Miller returned to Chicago from his New Orleans hospital Monday. He’s trying to recover from a likely career-ending injury.

He dislocated his left knee Oct. 29 against the Saints, requiring emergency surgery to fix the torn artery that delivers blood to his lower leg.

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Ben Braunecker, the Bears’ Harvard-educated practice-squad tight end, has been promoted to the 53-man roster. Braunecker caught four passes for 41 yards in 13 games last season as a rookie but was one of the last Bears cut at the end of training camp. He cleared waivers and was re-signed to the practice squad before the season opener.

Braunecker missed three weeks’ worth of practice last month with a bone bruise in his foot but felt well enough to participate last week.

“The good news is that he’s healthy enough now, and we’ll see where that takes us as we adjust our roster going forward,” coach John Fox said last week.

With the promotion, the Bears will keep four tight ends on their active roster — Dion Sims, Adam Shaheen, Daniel Brown and Braunecker. They figure to lean on Sims — though he has missed practices since the Bears’ last game — and could feature Shaheen, a second-round pick who has only one catch. Brown had one catch against the Saints.

The Bears added tight end Colin Thompson to take Braunecker’s place on the practice squad. The 6-4, 260-pound Thompson, a Temple alum, spent time with the Giants in training camp.

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley.

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

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