Thursday, May 12, 2022

Bears waive fan favorites after failed physical and call for Hulking TE-Off waivers

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After re-signing with the Chicago Bears in April, Jesper Horsted was released with a failed physical designation, the team announced May 11.

Horsted, 25, has become a fan favorite in Chicago in recent seasons despite playing minimally. Since signing with the Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2019, he has played in just 13 games, catching 10 passes for 108 yards and three touchdowns.

He only caught two passes last year, both for TDs, and he seemed to develop solid on-field chemistry with quarterback Justin Fields. Horsted was on the receiving end of Field’s first TD pass in the NFL, but it doesn’t look like that connection will develop much further.

In a related roster change, Chicago requested former New York Giants TE Rysen John on waivers, the team also said.

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Horsted was initially added to Chicago’s practice team in 2019 before being added to the active roster later in the season. He played in six games as a rookie, started one and finished the year with eight catches for 87 yards and a score.

After spending the entire 2020 season on the Chicago practice team, he made the team’s final 53-man roster in 2021 after a stellar preseason that included a three-point performance in Game 3 against the Tennessee Titans:

Part of Horsted’s appeal was his ability to make the most of his rare opportunities. Despite only playing 10 games in three years, Horsted leaves Chicago with more TD receptions than Bears second-round starter Cole Kmet, who has two in 33 games and 26 starts.

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John attended college at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, a Division II school, where he played wide receiver. The Canadian native led the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in catches per game (5.3), yards per game (86.1), receptions (55) and total yards (861) as a senior in 2019, and also had 10 touchdowns .

The 24-year-old TE signed as a UDFA with the Giants in 2020 and was also drafted by the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League in the 3rd round with the 21st pick that year. He was issued an injury rule due to a hamstring problem in 2020 before ending up on the practice team for the remainder of the season. He landed again at IR the following year and has yet to play an NFL game in the regular season.

He played in two preseason games in 2021, catching six passes on six targets for 72 yards (12 yards per catch).

John is fast — he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds — and he’s a lot taller than the 6-foot-4, 241-pound Horsted. John stands at 6-foot-7 and weighs 237 pounds, and while DII players never face an easy path in the NFL, he gets a chance in a tight spot with only one returning starter in Kmet.

He joins Kmet, James O’Shaughnessy, Ryan Griffin, along with undrafted free agents Chase Allen and Jake Tonges.

CONTINUE READING: Bears sign veteran QB and show interest in ex-Saints WR

CONTINUE READING: Bears sign veteran QB and show interest in ex-Saints WR

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