The Chicago Bears’ offensive line has struggled throughout the entirety of the 2012 season. After Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings where the Bears’ lost two starting offensive linemen in left guard Chris Spencer and right guard Lance Louis, the team’s offensive line was once again in question. The injuries to Spencer and Louis came after left guard Chilo Rachal was placed on the reserved/restricted list after walking out on the team upon news of being demoted from the starting lineup. Edwin Williams replaced Spencer in Sunday’s game, whereas, Gabe Carimi replaced Louis as the team’s right tackle. Louis is out for the remainder of the season while Spencer will miss, at the most, two weeks. With Williams and Carimi presumably the starting guards on the offensive line, undrafted rookie offensive lineman James Brown was the only backup offensive lineman on the roster entering Tuesday.
With depth of the offensive line looking extremely thin, the Bears announced on Tuesday that they have signed five-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Andre Gurode. Gurode, throughout his 10 year career, has experience as a center and guard. Gurode was last with the Baltimore Ravens after signing with the team after being cut by the Cowboys. Gurode started five games for the Ravens in 2011. Prior to signing with the Ravens, Gurode underwent knee surgery that forced him to miss most of training camp with the Dallas Cowboys and that contributed to the Cowboys decision to cut Gurode after the 2011 pre-season.
Don’t expect Gurode to revert back to his Pro Bowl ability with the Bears. That simply is not going to happen, or at least, is highly unlikely. There is a reason why Gurode was available to the Bears as a free agent this late in the season, and that reason likely is related to the knee surgery he had in 2011. Having said that, it may not be a reach to say that the Gurode has the potential to be an impact on the Bears offensive line. Gurode is a five-time Pro Bowler, and that is more than any other Bears’ offensive linemen could say. Though, Bears fans witnessed first hand how that turned out for the now retired Orlando Pace. Gurode will not immediately be inserted into the starting lineup, as sources told Michael C. Wright of ESPN Chicago that Gurode joined the Bears as a backup.
To make room for Gurode, the Bears waived defensive tackle Amobi Okeye.