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Bears sign QB Tyler Bray, RB Artavis Pierce, 14 others to practice squad

The squad size was increased to 16 this season, and teams can protect up to four players per week. That makes it easier for the Bears to call up any of the players they added Sunday.

Bray has been with the Bears for three years.

The Bears filled their 16-man practice squad Sunday, and all but one were players they cut at the Saturday deadline.

The headliners are quarterback Tyler Bray, running back Artavis Pierce, offensive lineman Lachavious Simmons and kicker Cairo Santos.

Here is the full list:
QB Tyler Bray
RB Artavis Pierce
WR Reggie Davis
WR Thomas Ives
WR Rodney Adams
TE Jesper Horsted
OL Sam Mustipher
OL Jamon Brown
OL Lachavious Simmons
OL Badara Traore

DT Abdullah Anderson
DT LaCale London
LB Rashad Smith
S Stephen Denmark
S Xavier Crawford

K Cairo Santos

One name conspicuously left off the list: linebacker Ledarius Mack. The Bears signed him as an undrafted free agent in part because he is Khalil Mack’s brother. He went unclaimed on waivers and is a free agent.

The only practice squad player who was not with the Bears for preseason practices is guard Jamon Brown. He has played 60 games since the Rams drafted him in the third round in 2015 and started nine games for the Falcons last season.

The practice squad is more interesting than usual this season because teams can protect up to four players per week from being poached. That allows them to keep contingency plans in case of a player on the active roster testing positive for coronavirus or dealing with an injury.

That’s important for the Bears at running back, where they aren’t certain yet whether David Montgomery will be available for the opener. If Pierce is protected, for example, it would be easy for the Bears to add him to their active roster the day before the game.