Bears add Rod Wilson

The Bears will officially announce linebacker Rod Wilson has been signed to the 53-man roster today to take the place of Hunter Hillenmeyer, who was placed on injured reserve Tuesday as he suffers from the after-effects of a concussion.

Wilson played for the Bears from 2005 to 2007 and was a solid special teams player while also serving as a backup to middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. That is what made him appealing because Hillenmeyer filled that role well.

But Wilson wasn’t the team’s first choice. The Bears placed a waiver claim for linebacker Bryan Kehl after he was let go Tuesday by the New York Giants. They missed out, though, as Kehl was nabbed by the St. Louis Rams, who have a higher priority in multiple waiver claims. In fact, the Rams have the highest priority until Sept. 28 when this season’s standings will be used. Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo was with the Giants when they drafted Kehl in the fourth round from BYU in 2008.

So, Wilson will join the Bears at practice this afternoon and should get up to speed in the scheme quickly. He’s got a big act to follow. The Bears signed a linebacker off the street in Week 2 a year ago. All Tim Shaw did was go out and set a franchise record with 30 special teams tackles in the next 15 games. The bar was set high.

Interestingly, Shaw was among the Bears final cuts to get to 53 when the status of Hillenmeyer, who had not yet been cleared to return from a concussion suffered Aug. 28 in a preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. The Bears must not have figured they would need a linebacker quickly. Shaw was claimed by the Tennessee Titans and made two special teams tackles in Week 1.

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