The Chicago Bears placed starting tight end Martellus Bennett on injured reserve on Tuesday. To fill his spot on the roster, the Bears signed former Arizona Cardinals tight end Rob Housler.
Bennett has been dealing with a rib injury and missed Chicago's Week 12 matchup against the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving. He returned to play against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, but an aggravation of the injury led to him being shut down for the rest of the season.
#Bears have placed TE Martellus Bennett on season-ending injured reserve with a rib injury & signed TE Rob Housler.— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 8, 2015
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Bennett leads the team in receptions with 53 this year. He has become one of quarterback Jay Cutler's favorite targets since signing with the Bears before the 2013 season. Last year, the 273-pound tight end put up career-best receiving numbers with 90 catches for 916 yards and six touchdowns.
The Bears will miss Bennett as both a pass-catcher and a blocker, as he belongs to a dying breed of well-rounded NFL tight ends. The 28-year-old still has one more year left on his current contract worth $5.085 million. Bennett is one of Chicago's remaining holdovers from the previous regime.