The injuries hit the Bears hard in Sunday’s 25-20 loss to the Eagles at Soldier Field.

Equanimeous St. Brown, Teven Jenkins and Jack Sanborn all were unable to finish the game due to their specific injuries. On Tuesday, Bears coach Matt Eberflus provided updates on his injured starters. 

“Later today, not yet announced, linebacker Jack Sanborn will go to IR,” Eberflus said. “No specifics. Just his ankle. He would miss the last three games, so we’re going to just put him on IR moving forward from there.”

After the Bears traded Roquan Smith to the Ravens a day after the loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Sanborn made his first career start against the Miami Dolphins the following game. He recorded seven total tackles (all solo) in the 35-32 loss. 

The 22-year-old undrafted free agent ended the season with 64 total tackles, 50 solo, two sacks and one fumble recovery. 

Eberflus was asked what impressed him with the opportunities he had this season.

“Just his maturity. You know his ability to handle that space coming in there,” Eberflus said. “I know we had some injuries and what not and being able to function. And then the production. He had a lot of tackling production. His instincts we saw and we saw that during training camp, so we were excited about that, but he’s an impactful player and we’re excited to have him.”

Eberflus did also say if this injury happened earlier in the year that he thinks Sanborn would have been able to come back and play again this season. 

When Sanborn went down in the third quarter, Joe Thomas had to fill in at the Mike linebacker position. But the Bears also brought in some linebackers to help fill the void left by Sanborn with three games remaining in the season. 

The Bears signed sixth-year veteran linebacker Elijah Lee and added linebacker Kuony Deng to the practice squad. 

Lee was a seventh-round draft pick (232 overall) by the Vikings in 2017. He started on Minnesota’s practice squad and then went to San Francisco, where he stayed for three seasons. He started six games, made 76 tackles and had two forced fumbles with the 49ers. Then he signed with Detroit in 2020 and later that year played for the Cleveland Browns until the 2021 season. He was most recently with the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Chicago added a veteran linebacker who has played in 71 games and has made 105 tackles in his career. 

Deng played his college ball for the Cal Golden Bears and was actually featured on Netflix’s “Last Chance U” when he was at Independence Community College. In three seasons at Cal, Deng registered 156 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, eight passes defended, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.


Nicholas Moreano is the Bears beat reporter for CHGO Bears. He has a master's degree in Communication from DePaul University and obtained his bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa.