Nov 18, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff (90) celebrates making a tackle during the game against the Cleveland Browns at Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys beat the Browns 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Former Cowboys Defensive Tackle Jay Ratliff Visits Bears

The Bears could be calling in the cavalry to help their dire situation at defensive tackle, having Cowboys castoff Jay Ratliff in for a visit.   The Bears aren’t the former f0ur-time Pro Bowler’s only suitors:

Ratliff, who was cut by the Cowboys two week

s ago, has visited the Chiefs and Bears, according to Ed Werder of ESPN. Ratliff is also expected to visit at least one more team.

Werder reports that Ratliff, who was on the physically unable to perform list and didn’t play for the Cowboys this season, is expected to be healthy enough to play in two to four weeks.

Ratliff isn’t going to be ready to contribute for 2-4 weeks, but he could certainly help a Bears defensive line ravaged by injuries.  Henry Melton and his backup Nick Collins went down with season ending knee injuries.

They’ve been forced to kick DE Corey Wootton inside to DT.  Ratliff could move into the DT rotation and let Wootton go back outside.  That could allow Shea McClellin to move into more of a situational pass rusher.  Ratliff would let everyone go back to the roles for which they’re best suited.

The are three big questions about Ratliff.  One is whether the Bears will be able to afford Ratliff.  They’re pretty tight up against the salary cap.  Phil Emery might have to do some maneuvering to get him signed.  The second is whether he’d chose the Bears over the Chiefs or another team.  And lastly, and most importantly, is he healthy enough to make a meaningful contribution.

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