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Bears sign OT Elijah Wilkinson, LB Christian Jones

The Bears added competition for their starting right tackle job, signing Elijah Wilkinson, who started seven games for the Broncos last year, to a one-year deal.

The Bears signed tackle Elijah Wilkinson.
The Bears signed tackle Elijah Wilkinson.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Bears added competition for their starting right tackle job, signing Elijah Wilkinson, who started seven games there for the Broncos last year, to a one-year deal Tuesday. The Bears also brought back inside linebacker Christian Jones, who spent the first four seasons of his career with the team, on a one-year contract.

The 6-6, 329-pound Wilkinson began the season as the Broncos’ starting right tackle but went on injured reserve with a leg injury after three games. He eventually returned and started their last four games of the year. The 26-year-old was first signed four years ago as an undrafted free agent out of Massachusetts. He played 45 games for the Broncos; over the past three years, he’s started 26 of 36 contests.

Wilkinson and Jones both visited Halas Hall on Tuesday. Jones, 30, pre-dated head coach Matt Nagy during his stint with the Bears from 2014-17, but does know defensive coordinator Sean Desai, who was then an assistant.

Jones started 42 games over three years with the Lions, who cut him earlier this month.

He’ll likely play special teams and provide depth behind Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan.

The Bears need help at right tackle after they declined veteran Bobby Massie’s option earlier this offseason. Germain Ifedi, who settled in at the position after Massie’s Week 8 knee injury last season, re-signed on a one-year deal. Both Ifedi and Wilkinson can also play right guard. The Bears could draft a tackle next month, too; the class is considered strong at the position.

Jason Lieser contributed to this story.