Defensive tackle Zach Minter inked a three-year, $1.48 million deal with the Chicago Bears the day after the 2013 NFL Draft ended.
On Sunday, the undrafted rookie out of Montana State will make his first appearance in an NFL game. He will serve as the third defensive tackle behind starters Stephen Paea and Nate Collins with Pro Bowler Henry Melton (left torn ACL) out for the season.
The 22-year old had a very successful collegiate career for the Bobcats. In 44 games played, he made 40 starts racking up 188 tackles, 17.5 sacks, three interceptions, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
A lot has changed for the 6’1″, 297 defensive tackle from Glendale, Arizona. A year ago today he was competing against the likes of Southern Utah and Eastern Washington in the Big Sky Conference.
Minter will be thrown right into the rivalry between the Bears and Lions at Ford Field this week. It surely has been fiesty as of late with a lot of tension coming from Detroit.
Asked if he ever takes a step back to reflect on how far he’s come, Minter said via Chicagobears.com: “I think you have to because this is the National Football League. Not everybody gets a chance to play here.”
The Bears won’t be asking Minter to handle too much in his first NFL regular season action. Nate Collins had been playing around 30 snaps in the first two weeks of the season as the third defensive tackle. Expect Minter to play roughly 25-30 snaps as he contributes on special teams as well.
It will be interesting to see how Minter will fare in his Bears debut. Bears fans should all be paying attention to him and this defensive tackle rotation to see if they can play just as well without Melton. It certainly won’t be easy.
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