On the eve of their first practice of training camp, the Chicago Bears suffered their first player loss. Veteran defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis, signed this spring to provide depth on the interior of the defensive line, failed to report to Bears training camp and later told the club he intends to retire. Ellis had inked a one-year deal after beginning his career in New Orleans.
The former first rounder mulled offers from New England and Detroit before signing with the Bears, where he was expected to spell starters Henry Melton and Stephen Paea. In his roster spot, the Bears turned to another former first-rounder, Jamaal Anderson, to take Ellis’ roster spot.
The 6-6, 280-pound Anderson has started 48 of 77 games played in six seasons with Atlanta (2007-10), Indianapolis (2011) and Cincinnati (2012) after being selected by the Falcons in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Arkansas. Anderson has recorded 132 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 10 pass break ups, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery during his NFL career.
Anderson is a journeyman, but could give the Bears added versatility with his ability to play both end and tackle.
The Bears will work out in shorts and helmets Friday and Saturday, before donning pads for the first padded practice Sunday morning.