The Chicago Bears are on a bye week, but they still made a major splash on Thursday as they terminated the contract of defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff.
Ratliff, who signed with the Bears in 2013, was suspended for the first three games of the 2015 season because of a DUI case in Texas, and he had started in two games for the Bears this season.
“We felt moving forward without Jeremiah was in the best interest of our team,” Bears G.M. Ryan Pace said in a statement. “We appreciate his contributions and wish him well.”
According to several reporters, Ratliff had a heated argument with Pace at the team’s practice facility on Wednesday afternoon:
Ratliff will be replaced on the 53-man roster by defensive lineman Ziggy Hood, who last played in the NFL in 2014. He has played for both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In the short-term, the move is an extremely curious one by the Bears. Eddie Goldman has had some trouble staying on the field this season due to injuries, but he will now be the undisputed top guy at the nose tackle position. Will Sutton will likely back him up, at least early on, before Hood gets fully acclimated into the Bears’ system.