Even though the move will not help them in the short-term, the Chicago Bears bolstered their defensive line on Saturday afternoon when they signed former Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl defensive end Jay Ratliff to a one-year contract, according to multiple media outlets.
The story was first reported by ESPN's Ed Werder. Ratliff, who is recovering from sports hernia surgery and was cut by the Cowboys in October, also generated interest from several other teams, including the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins.
The Bengals were also reportedly interested in his services, but after an injury to Geno Atkins on Thursday night, the team needed a quicker fix than the one Ratliff can provide and opted not to offer him a deal.
The Bears have been in desperate need of help on the defensive line ever since a spate of injuries wreaked havoc in recent weeks. Henry Melton went down with a torn ACL, and then his replacement Nate Collins followed that up by tearing his ACL as well. With Corey Wootton moved inside to try to replace those two alongside Stephen Paea, the Bears have been forced to play Shea McClellin at defensive end, and he hasn't exactly lit the world on fire in that spot.
At any rate, this isn't a fix that will help the Bears immediately. Ratliff did visit with the team earlier this week, and the medical staff did get a chance to look at him. Ratliff likey won't make his debut until after the team's Week 10 matchup against the Detroit Lions at the earliest.