Bears put guard Dakota Dozier on IR with season-ending knee injury
Signed to a one-year contract in March, Dozier was rotating at right guard with Sam Mustipher during offseason practices.
The Bears figured to struggle to protect Justin Fields even before guard Dakota Dozier was carted off the field during mandatory minicamp last week. Dozier suffered a season-ending injury to his left knee, a source said hours after the Bears put him on injured reserve Tuesday.
Signed to a one-year contract in March, Dozier was rotating with Sam Mustipher at right guard. Rookie Zach Thomas saw playing time at guard during the last two minicamp practices.
The offensive line remains the Bears’ biggest question mark. Three unproven tackles have cycled through starting spots: second-year players Larry Borom and Teven Jenkins and rookie Braxton Jones.
The Bears figure to scour the market for veteran offensive linemen before the start of training camp next month or when teams make their final cuts in September.
Protecting Fields, their second-year quarterback, needs to be the highest priority for general manager Ryan Poles, who identified a soft offensive line as one of the team’s problems last season. Poles signed center Lucas Patrick to a two-year deal and drafted four linemen in Rounds 5 or later this year — hardly the high-level renovation the Bears needed.
The Bears used their open roster spot to sign cornerback Jayson Stanley, who played at Georgia and appeared in eight games for the Seahawks in 2020.
Before he was converted to cornerback from wide receiver as a pro, Stanley caught one of Fields’ four touchdown passes in Fields’ lone year with the Bulldogs.
More new faces
Coach Matt Eberflus named Sean Magee his new chief of staff. Magee, a U.S. Naval Academy grad who once was deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom, was Michigan’s associate athletic director for football the last five years.
The Bears also announced seven more hires. Poles brought over Krithi Chandrakasan, with whom he worked with the Chiefs, as football analytics director. Ryan Hubley was named football systems developer.
Reese Hicks was named a West Coast scout, Tom Bradway a Northeast scout and Ryan Cavanaugh a Midwest scout. Blair Hitchcock was named the sports nutrition director, and AJ Lamb, a sports scientist, also was hired.