Bears Place Melton On IR; Sign Cohen To Active Roster

Bears Place Melton On IR; Sign Cohen To Active Roster

The Chicago Bears announced on Friday that defensive tackle Henry Melton has been placed on season-ending injured reserve after suffering a torn left ACL last Sunday night against the Steelers.

According to a league source, the Bears have signed defensive tackle Landon Cohen to a one-year deal. He was brought in on Tuesday for a workout.

Cohen was drafted in the seventh-round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions when former Bears’ defensive line coach Rod Marinelli was the head coach. The Ohio University product was with the Marinelli and the Dallas Cowboys this season where he made one tackle in two games.

Cohen was released by the Cowboys last Tuesday. He’s appeared in 27 games with four different teams (Detroit, New England, Jacksonville, Dallas) making five starts and 32 tackles.

The 27-year old 6’1″ lineman played for current Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker in his time with the Jaguars in 2010. He seems like a solid fit for the Bears’ defense as he will likely step in and play the three-technique that Melton played.

However, undrafted rookie Zach Minter proved his worth this preseason and should serve as the third defensive tackle on Sunday against the Lions. He has plenty of upside coming out of Montana State where he flourished. Corey Wootton is expected to see some work at defensive tackle as well during nickel situations.

Cohen could eventually slide into the rotation as the season progresses, but it appears as if Minter will get his first NFL appearance here in Week Four.

Fourth-year pro Nate Collins and third-year pro Stephen Paea will serve as the starters at defensive tackle with Melton out of the picture.

Collins has seven tackles through three games and has provided the most consistency at the position despite playing behind Melton and Paea.

“Nothing really changes for me,” Collins said Wednesday after practice via “I’m just going to be out there first when the game starts. I have to read my keys and continue to help this team win, stay in my gap and do what I do every week; just go out there and play hard, run to the ball and be physical.”

The Bears’ defense shouldn’t take a dramatic step back with Melton not in uniform. Collins and Paea certainly have what it takes to fill Melton’s Pro Bowl shoes. Wootton, Minter and Cohen will all get their chances to make an impact at the defensive tackle position as well.

This Sunday will be a huge test for the starters and the third defensive tackle, either Minter or Cohen.


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