Bears choose untested rookie to replace Pat Mannelly

The Chicago Bears replaced 14-year veteran Pat Mannelly by signing a rookie long snapper.

Mannelly was lost for the season on Sunday when he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in the 31-20 victory over the San Diego Chargers at Soldier Field. He holds the record for career games played in for the Bears at 215.

“I’ll be ready for Year 15,” Mannelly said in a text message on Monday.

Jake Laptad, an undrafted rookie from Kansas, will replace him. Laptad was signed to a three-year contract. He spent training camp and preseason with the Bears and filled in as the long snapper in the preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns, making 10 flawless snaps. Special teams coordinator Dave Toub said Laptad, a defensive end in college, has ideal size for the position.

Laptad spent two weeks on the practice squad last month. The Bears selected Laptad instead of signing one of the more experienced options on the street.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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