Chicago Bears: OL help just became available

Chicago Bears (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Bears (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Chicago Bears biggest need just became available.

I’m not telling tales out of school to say the Chicago Bears desperately need help along the offensive line. While the unit averaged 138 rushing yards per game through the first three weeks, that number has been reduced by more than half, as they have averaged a mere 42 yards per game over their last three. Could help be on the way in the form of the recently released Quinton Spain? We’ll get to that in a bit.

Much of their early-season success running the ball could be attributed to their opponents, as they played three of the worst rush defenses in the league (Detroit Lions, New York Giants, and Atlanta Falcons). However, if this team has serious playoff aspirations, it is going to need to rush the ball better against some of the better quality defenses like they faced in the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Beyond just a tougher schedule, they got hit by the injury bug, losing guard James Daniels for the year with a torn pectoral muscle suffered against the Bucs. The team tried to cover down with Alex Bars to start before moving to Rashaad Coward last week. While Bars looked serviceable filling in for the duration of the Bucs game, Coward struggled against the Panthers.

It is clear the Bears need to bolster the line to improve not just the run game, but the passing game as well. While Mitch Trubisky spent a lot of time under center while he was the starter, Matt Nagy has transitioned back to a more shotgun-heavy approach with Nick Foles, which has at least in part, resulted in him having less time to throw in the pocket.

Interestingly, a high-quality option just became available (which is rare this time of year) as the Buffalo Bills have released guard Quinton Spain. Spain is young, at only 29-years-old, and while he has only started two games this season, he was a regular starter for the Bills the last four seasons.

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Spain allowed zero sacks last season and signed just a 3-year/$15 million deal last March. For a young, quality, offensive lineman, that is a very reasonable deal. While Spain is very good in pass protection, at least according to one report, he has struggled with his run blocking. Nevertheless, it would still likely be an upgrade over their current platoon situation. Keep an eye on this development and whether the Bears bring him in for a look.