3 players Chicago Bears can sign to replace injured LB

The Chicago Bears were given some terrible news Friday in that Khalil Mack is undergoing season-ending surgery on his injured foot. The 3-6 Bears need all hands on deck to succeed and losing Mack is a terrible blow.

The focus now should be on adding reinforcements to continue the playoff push. Mack is a linebacker who is also just a strong pass-rusher in general. So here are three available pass-rushers the Bears could consider signing.

Bears LB Khalil Mack to be placed on IR to have season-ending foot surgery. (via @RapSheet) https://t.co/UrNZQm8wBb

3 players Bears can sign to replace Khalil Mack

#3 – Olivier Vernon

Olivier Vernon is a defensive end who could come in and add some depth with Mack out. The former 2012 third-round pick was with the Cleveland Browns from 2019-2020 after coming over in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade.

He finished last year with nine sacks, but tore his Achilles near the end of the season. Given he is healthy, there is no reason why the Bears can’t give the veteran a shot to prove he can help in the second half of the season.

#2 – Jaylon Smith

Signing Jaylon Smith is less about replacing Mack as a pass-rusher and more about adding a linebacker with potential to the mix if Chicago is considering cutting ties with Mack after the season.

I feel bad for Jaylon Smith

While Mack is an outside linebacker, Smith plays on the inside. The move would be a sort of reclamation project as the Bears try to find pieces to retain in 2022 if things go south this year and the playoffs are no longer a possibility.

#1 – Adrian Clayborn

The veteran pass-rusher played with the Browns in 2020 and was a surprise roster cut this past offseason. He finished last season with 3.5 sacks and has a total of 40 for his career.

Clayborn is 33 years old and the fact he is on the open market shows that there was never real demand for him this year. But the Bears need players to step in fast and a veteran is always a great option.

No one on this list could ever truly replace Mack. However, all three are solid options for the Bears defense as they hope to keep their playoff dreams alive this week.

Edited by Jay Lokegaonkar

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