The Bears announced that they have placed tight end Martellus Bennett on injured reserve on Tuesday. The eighth-year veteran has been battling a rib injury. The team has signed Rob Housler — a five-year contributor with the Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns — to take his place on the roster.
In light of the move, one has to wonder if Bennett has played his last game with the Bears. He has one year left on the four-year deal he signed with the team in 2013. Bennett has been vocal this season about getting a new contract, even skipping voluntary portions of offseason workouts. And although nobody in the organization will confirm it, he seemingly has been a distraction, alluding to his displeasure in his lack of involvement in the offense and his drop in statistics from his Pro Bowl season a year ago.
General Manager Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox are two men who won’t tolerate any behavior that is distracting to the team. The Bears traded Brandon Marshall quickly after Pace settled into his office, and they summarily parted ways with veteran defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff following an altercation with Pace this season.