The Bears are working out veteran punter Matt Dodge today, a league source confirmed.
ESPN Chicago first reported the news.
Bears top punter Adam Podlesh suffered a hip flexor injury while trying to make a tackle on a return touchdown in Saturday’s 33-31 victory over the Washington Redskins. Podlesh initially said that he received positive indications of a return before the regular season.
“I just felt a little something there,” Podlesh said Saturday. “I plan on being back Week 1. From what I’ve heard so far, it seems pretty positive.
“We’ll rehab it until Week 1, and we should be good.”
Ryan Quigley, a rookie from Boston College, is the only other punter on the roster. He averaged 41.5 yards per punt Saturday night, with a long of 44 yards. Podlesh’s longest punt was 51 yards.
Dodge was a seventh-round pick of the New York Giants in 2010. He averaged 44.8 yards per punt as a rookie, but he punted the ball to DeSean Jackson, against the wishes of his coaches, and he was criticized afterwards by Giants coach Tom Coughlin.
Jackson, of course, returned the punt for a touchdown in a wild Eagles comeback win.
While Dodge has more experience than Quigley, if he’s on the roster at the start of the season, the Bears would have to pay him for the entire season, not just the weeks he’s on the roster. If Podlesh is expected back early in the season, that option may be prohibitive.