Chicago Bears Lose DE Ego Ferguson for Season


Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears got some bad injury news today with 2nd-year DE Ego Ferguson out for the season with a knee injury. Ferguson was limited in practice on Wednesday, held out Thursday & Friday, and then placed on the IR today effectively ending his season.

Ferguson, last year’s 2nd round pick, started at defensive end in week 4 and had played close to half of the Bears defensive snaps as a key member of the D-line rotation. Pro Football Focus gave Ferguson a neutral grade so far (0.0) with a positive mark against the run (+1.4) and negative verse the pass (-1.8). Ferguson had yet to commit a penalty this year and had shown sings of promise as a potentially impact run stopper. It’s a big loss for the Bears since the defensive line was one of their thinner positions after the loss of Ray McDonald in training camp and injuries to Cornelius Washington and Will Sutton.

The Bears run defense will miss Ferguson’s run stopping ability, but attempted to replace him by signing 2nd year DE Bruce Gaston off the practice squad of the Green Bay Packers. Gaston is a Chicago native, who played his high school football at my old rival St.Rita and college ball at Purdue. He had a strong preseason for Green Bay with a sack and four QB hits and made the Packers final 53-man roster. Gaston played in two regular season games, including week 1 vs the Bears, and had a tackle and 2 QB hurries. The Packers sent Gaston to the practice squad to make room for the return of WR Jared Abbrederis.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Gaston started his career as an undrafted free agent with the Arizona Cardinals but didn’t see the field as a rookie. Before the 2014 draft I had Gaston graded as a solid day 3 pick and was surprised that he wasn’t drafted. Here is my scouting report on Gaston from last year:

Bruce Gaston, Purdue (6’2, 308): Gaston caught my attention during the week of the East / West Shrine game and I was surprised that he didn’t receive a combine invite. He showed the versatility to play DE in a 3-4 when Purdue switched schemes last year, but had more success as a 3-tech DT early in his college career. Gaston showed good lateral quickness at either position and the ability to shed blocks and hold his ground against double teams.  He had a solid pro day with a 4.95 40-time, 34 bench reps, and a 34″ vertical. His bench output would have been 3rd among D-linemen at the combine and his vertical 8th, which isn’t bad for a 308 pounder. Gaston could provide good depth at the 3 or 5-tech positions and potentially more with some added strength and experience.

Since the Bears signed Gaston off another teams practice squad they will need to keep him on the active roster for at least three weeks. That shouldn’t be a problem considering the Bears need for depth on the D-line after the loss of Ferguson. Gaston is a long-shot, but has shown flashes of potential when given a shot and the Bears may have found another valuable D-line piece for the future.

Next: Fantasy Football Week 6: Start'em / Sit'em

More from Bear Goggles On