Bears sign QB Jordan Palmer, LB Larry Grant to help with injuries
Palmer, who originally joined the Bears in training camp before being released on Aug. 30, has been brought in to back up Josh McCown starting next Monday against the Green Bay Packers. McCown was forced into the starting spot after the Bears temporarily lost Jay Cutler, who suffered a groin injury in the Week 7 against the Washington Redskins. Cutler is expected to miss a minimum of four weeks while recovering from a torn groin muscle.
Starting the Bears’ preseason finale against the Browns, Palmer completed 11 of 17 passes for 111 yards with one touchdown. Although Palmer previously failed to earn a spot on the final roster, the Bears – who are down to one healthy quarterback on the active roster – are now turning back to fifth-year pro due to his familiarity with the Chicago offense.
"[Palmer] became very affluent in our offensive language very quickly," Bears coach Marc Trestman said on Monday. "He was very motivated on his own to get himself ready because we were getting ready for a season at the time we were getting ready to play the last preseason game.”
"He impressed us,” Trestman continued. “He was very efficient running the offense when he was in there on very short notice. We feel good that he's available and we can bring him in here to back up Josh."
The 29-year-old Palmer appeared in four career games during his first four NFL seasons with the Bengals (2008-10) and Jaguars (2012), completing 10 of 15 passes for 59 yards with two interceptions.
Meanwhile, Larry Grant will add depth to a linebacking corps that recently lost starter Lance Briggs. The 11-year pro Briggs fractured his shoulder in the 45-21 loss to Redskins and is expected to be sidelined for six weeks.
Originally drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2008, Grant split 66 careers games (including 11 starts) between the 49ers (2011-12) and St. Louis Rams (2008-10). The 6-foot-1, 251-pound Grant registered 93 tackles, five sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and five passes defensed.
Grant was suspended got the first four games of the 2013 season due to violation of the league's policy on performance enhancing drugs.
The Bears waived tight end Steve Maneri and cornerback C.J. Wilson to make room for Palmer and Grant on the active roster. Wilson was later re-signed to the practice squad, after he cleared waivers. The Bears also signed wide receiver Terrence Toliver, who was caught seven passes for 63 yards in the preseason for the Bears before being cut on Aug. 30, but will return to the team’s practice squad. Meanwhile, the practice squad contract of receiver Ricardo Lockette was terminated.